Posts Tagged ‘mother’

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Communicating With Father…

August 1, 2011

Well…the last time I had written my father, I forwarded it as a document to my hubby. He sent it on to my father…with a message of his own. Here it is:
(My father),

As far as I am concerned, (me) does not need to communicate with you. You have done nothing a loving father would do and have shown over the years you really do not care for her by your attitude toward her. A normal father would be concerned with what she remembered but would realize whether it happened from your point of view or not, it is still real to her. They would be willing to work through things, instead of attacking like you have done. You have always reacted as someone who knows they are guilty would react. You are more interested in protecting yourself rather than actually trying to get to the bottom of things.

Having said that, I am not the one who will stand in the way of a daughter who has shown the desire to break through and love you  both any way. I am not the one who has to put up with the garbage that you spout. She will.

Attached is a letter she wrote to you answering your comments. I would not have bothered. Even though she knows how I feel she still wants to try. (THAT SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHING.)
As far as I am concerned, if you don’t want to try to seriously break down the barriers from your end, then don’t bother even responding to her letter.

Go, hubby!

At the time, I had a little bit of reluctance to have him send that. However, nothing was getting through…nothing was changing. I figured he might as well tell it like it is.

My father actually wrote back…almost TWO WHOLE MONTHS LATER!! This is one reason nothing much happens between them and I. It takes months…literally…between emails.

This is what he wrote:

Subject: prayer

I have prayed about this; and prayed some more.

The end result of all my prayer is one word; “listen”.

Okay, I am listening.

Dad

I thought about it, but waited to respond. I had just listened to a teaching that hubby thought I would like, but it turned out to be the wrong one. This one was on honoring your parents…which is fine. However, the guy (according to my hubby) does not seem to recognize the inside damage done when there is sexual abuse. Kudos to hubby again!

I finally wrote back to my father. Hubby had suggest simply writing: “I love you and mom. Can we start from there?” Well…I did not write exactly that. I needed some time to think about it. This is what I wrote:

Dad,

If you are really listening, then listen to this:

I
choose
to
love
you
and
Mom.

I don’t have to. I choose to…in spite of everything.

Is that not a place from which we can start to build SOMEthing? Can we not talk about some of the positive/neutral things that happened in our family…try to find some common ground upon which to relate to one another?

This is not easy for me. In fact, it is downright hard. Yet, I am willing to try.

I cannot help what I remember. In spite of those memories, I am willing to at least try to connect with you both.

Do I expect anything from it? Not really. The last time he said he was listening, he gave me a list of things HE wanted to hear…mostly details about what he “supposedly” had done…places, actions, when, where. I cannot and will not do that. The cost is too high in this situation. I am taking care of myself and I just do not trust him.

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Or…Could It Be Two Wrong Answers?

August 1, 2011

The flip side of two right answers is two wrong answers. Each choice has a positive side and a negative side.

If I call, I see several possibilities:

*They might have put up call blocker which settles it as I won’t give my phone number out. Even if I was willing, my hubby is not and I am trusting him to watch out for my son and me.

*I might have to face talking to my father. I did talk to him the time when I called. My mother asked if she could put him on the phone and I said “yes”. Neither of us really said much of anything. I don’t remember what was said, but I do know it was very short…probably because he is hard of hearing?

*I might actually get somewhere with my mother. Boy…am I dreaming or what???

*Any contact might result in my father sending a nasty email to my hubby…which, of course, I do have the option to read or not. I do believe hubby would tell me if my father wrote.

*My mother might actually email me. Although my father’s email is blocked…her’s is not.

*If I am rebutted…at least I will know I tried…again.

If I don’t call:

*I won’t have to face any weirdness…other than what my father might send to my hubby.

*I may always wonder if I was just being smart…or being a wimp. I mean…seriously…what can my father (or mother) really do to me? I have pretty much known where I stand for years. My mother confirmed it when I talked to her on the phone and my father confirmed it in an email. What could he possibly say or do that can really hurt me? I drew the boundary lines about 9 years ago. Nothing seems to have really changed.

Whether I call or not, I am faced with the possibility that my father may never let me know if my mother dies and vice versa. While not a pleasant thought, I am prepared for that possibility.

(As it turns out, my father did write before I got a chance to post this. More to come.)

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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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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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Regarding My Mother…

May 20, 2011

My sister is dead. My mother is going to die. So is my father. Those are important things for me to keep in mind. I liken my relationship (or lack thereof) with them to my relationship with my ex. So first, I want to talk a little bit about my divorce.

When I came into my first marriage, both of us were very broken…although I do not believe either of us had any idea really just how broken we were. I know I sure did not. I still did not have any clear memories of sexual abuse or ritual abuse, although I did “know” that something was wrong. I I always “felt” that I was somehow different from other folks…I just did not understand it all.

Two very broken people tried to make a marriage. It didn’t work very well. Over the years, we both suffered. We both did things that were unhealthy. I had to learn to make healthy boundaries. It took me a LONG time, but I did finally start making them right about the time my second child was a toddler.

I did it in baby steps so that it would not be noticed for the real boundary drawing had to begin in my heart. It had to begin inside before it could be expressed outwardly. So, I started to say “no” inside and then used little things to move it to the outside…little unnoticed things that slowly built up and gave me strength.

Several years later (about 9), it culminated in my outwardly saying “no” and drawing the biggest boundary I think I had ever set up to that point. I knew there could be some very serious ramifications, but I was “prepared”. Meaning that I was ready to take whatever came…no matter how ugly or painful. I said “no” and it got hairy, resulting in a final separation within the week and, ultimately, in a divorce.

There are three key things here.  One…I did everything I knew to do to make my marriage work. Two…when it all came down, I drew firm boundaries and stuck to them. I stood my ground. Third…my family is generational cult.

I have a lot of reasons to believe that my marriage was cult arranged. That kind of colors everything that happened. I was still “tied” to my parents, but I did not understand it. When we separated, they moved in. Very handy. Thankfully, my parents did not live with me for very long. They moved out of the area about an hour and a half away which gave me a good reason not to see them very often. Several months later, I and boys moved in with some other people and lived with three different families before getting into our own home.

When I separated…which was one of many miracles in my life…I had tried everything I knew to make the marriage work. However, while I drew closer and closer to G-d, he drew further and further from Him. We were going in opposite directions. I was working on my issues. He was…well…let’s just say he was definitely NOT working on his issues and leave it at that. Things were getting worse and worse as I got stronger and stronger until it finally came to a head and G-d told me to set that final boundary.

After we separated, I gave him every opportunity. I was willing to go to counseling. I was willing to wait a year while he dealt with his drug and alcohol issues. At the same time, I would not let him back into the house (not even in a separate bedroom) for that year. I withstood his attempts to “blackmail” me over the support he was voluntarily giving me and exposed his tactic to the courts. Every move he made, I countered. I stood my ground. Anything I gave to him I did of my own choice, not because I felt I had to. I fought for the sake of my children, and I no longer sacrificed myself to him out of a mistaken idea that it would somehow benefit them.

When it was all said and done and the decree came, I stood tall knowing that I had truly done all I could to save that marriage. My conscience was clear. I walked in my integrity. Even though I filed for separation and then divorce, he was the one who chose to walk away by refusing to do anything to save the marriage. He refused counseling. He refused to deal with his multiple addictions. He tried every manipulation tactic in the book, but G-d had brought me to a place of being able to recognize what was happening and to withstand them all.

Now, with my parents, it is similar. When they die, I will know that I tried everything I could, while maintaining healthy boundaries, to give them an opportunity to have some kind of relationship. I don’t need one with them although it would be nice. In fact, I really doubt that anything beyond the surface is even possible short of a HUGE miracle because my father still wants to control me, but he cannot.

I broke free of them about 9 years ago. It was a difficult journey, but just like in my marriage, G-d prepared me. He took me step by step by step, helping me to see the truth and to respond to that truth with boundary drawing. He also blessed me with a good non-cult husband (another miracle) who helped me. I cannot imagine trying to do it without him.

So, yes, I still contact my folks from time to time. I offer them an opportunity to get real on some level…or to at least talk about life in general. Yes, my father sends me BS and tries to give me grief and my mother ignores me after telling me that she really wants to talk to me. That is OK. I know not to take it personally. I am offering them a gift. If they refuse to take it, I will walk tall in my integrity. I will mourn for what could have been, but I will know I did my best and my conscience will remain clear.

I really think the biggest key is motivation. My motivation is one of love for them…in spite of them. It is a love I can only have because Yeshua enables me to have it. I have been forgiven for SO much. I know the darkness of my own heart (and I am sure it is even darker that I can see). How can I not forgive them and love them? They, too, are survivors. All of us are, in one way or another. Some are just more so than others.

Forgiveness and love do NOT mean letting them be ugly with me. It means standing in front of them and responding rather than reacting. I can do that now. I could not do that before. The programming is broken. The chains are gone. I have been set free.

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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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