Posts Tagged ‘parents’

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What’s In a Name?

July 31, 2013

My earliest conscious memories regarding my name was of never being allowed to go by a nickname…even to the extent that I was threatened to be in trouble if my mother ever heard someone call me anything other than my full first name. Others did not understand this, nor did I. But it was my reality and the reason for it was more serious than I knew.

I remember coming home in the first grade from school and one of the neighbor girls was teasing me by calling me a shorter name. She wouldn’t stop even when I asked her to. I remember being worried (read that as “scared”) that my mother would hear her. My only consolation was that this girl lived a couple of houses or so before mine and ours was up in the back…behind the main house. Thankfully, my mother did not hear.

As an adult, when I asked my mother about that strict rule, she said something along the lines of wanting to hear my name because she had worked so hard on picking out a nice one. She chose that name and wanted me to be called that name…period. She came across as if she had not been that strict in laying down the rules, but I remember. There is a lot this partial amnesic does not remember, but I remember that. It was programmed into me to NEVER use a nickname. It was not until many years later that I began to understand the truth behind that demand.

I remember struggling as an adult…married with children even…to try to be me. It is like I woke up one day and realized that I did not really know who I was. I did not know what I liked or didn’t like. It was a perm gone awry that turned me onto that. I looked totally different. I got teased a bit for the drastic change, but that is when I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I really did not know whether I liked it or not. It wasn’t what I wanted. It was drastically different. But did I actually not like it?

I tried to look at the woman in the mirror as if she was NOT me. Would I like that hair style on THAT woman? I decided I did, but I felt a bit of disconnect between that woman and me. That woman was not what those around me expected to see, which got me thinking. I decided that I wanted to become the woman God created me to be rather than the woman I was pressed into being. All my life I was always being what everyone else wanted, but what did “I” want? What did “I” like? And even more importantly, what did God create me to be? So, I set out on a journey of exploration. I wanted to find out who “I” really was/am. And what a journey it was!

Right there in the very beginning I was hit with a strong realization. I use the word “strong” because it was something that I knew for sure, although I could not have explained why or how I knew it. I just knew very strongly that I would never be able to be the me God created me to be if I went by my birth name. So, I decided I wanted to be called a nickname, which was really just a shortened version of my first name…half of it to be exact.

I knew my parents would not like it, so I started with my husband and those closest to me. I remember that some questioned what I was doing. New hair style, which I openly admitted was not my intention, but reassured them (especially since the hairdresser was a friend) that I did like it. New name. What was up? I just kept to myself what my realizations were and what my goal was.

Once I saw that those around me were willing to really try to remember to call me by my nickname, I asked my parents to do the same. Naturally, they did not like it. Thankfully, I did not see my parents nearly as often as I saw my husband and everyone else. And then I noticed it.

I had started to change internally, even if not all that much externally. I started to feel more freedom to gingerly explore, and my sense of who I was altered. I grew stronger, more confident and had a greater sense of my worth. And then my parents would come over and call me by my full name. Bam! It was like a switch was flipped and I found myself struggling to keep the ground I had gained. This happened over and over until I learned to turn it off.

Although I did not know anything about programming or my cult family heritage at that time, I did understand that there was a definite connection to my full name and being controlled and molded. It was one of the key events of my life as I moved toward freedom. I never went back to my full birth name and now have a completely different name.

So, what’s in a name? I think a lot! My birth names were given by my parents. They had really nice meanings and had programming attached to them. My current names have wonderful meanings and freedom attached to them. They were gifts from my Creator…my heavenly Abba/Father. I am no longer bound to programming or to the former names. When someone from way back calls me by that name, I don’t like it, but the effect is no longer there. It is more of just an annoyance.

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Working through things…

May 27, 2013

I have had to make a very tough decision, but life is what it is.

I will survive. I will continue to find joy in the midst of the grieving…even as things seem to be taking a turn for the worse.

I know the One who turns all things for good…even when it is hard…or even impossible…for me to see it. Actually, I do see some good in this. It is just that I also see a lot of sadness and hurt.

I truly do not believe we have much time left before Messiah returns. This whole situation may become a moot point before we even know it.

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Grieving the Finality of What Will Never Be…

March 9, 2012

I found out yesterday that my mother passed away on December 24, 2010. Yep…that is 1 year, 2 months and 14 days, plus or minus. And he is already remarried…I have NO idea for how long.

We permitted our son to call my mother…it’s a long story. When he asked about his grandmother, my father told him that she had died two years ago on a date my son did not remember. I got the actual date by calling the coroner’s office. They were able to confirm the date of her death and the cause…melanoma. I was told that she had been in hospice care, which was why her death was reported to them. It is a law in that state to report all deaths of people in hospice care.

Over the years I have grieved for what was and grieved for what wasn’t. And now, I need to grieve for what for sure will never be. There will never be reconciliation. Never be recognition. Never be an apology or forgiveness extended. Never be so many things.

I have a lot to think about…and a lot to feel. It can be difficult not to second-guess myself, but there are things I need to face in order to settle things in my own mind and heart. I was told she was dying, but not that she was in hospice care or that it was imminent. My father just kept playing games and, I believe, actually kept us apart…especially given what she said in the one time I did talk to her…a call that was interrupted by my father.

Things are a bit complicated and I am having to sort them all out. I need to own whatever is mine and refuse to take on whatever is not. I will not try to pick up another’s guilt. It is simply not mine to carry. Nor is it for me to run from my responsibilities. I went into this with eyes wide open. I knew the risks. I took the chance. Now it is over. Now I will process from a different place…on the other side of her death.

It is sad when someone lies so much that even when they tell the truth it is not the whole story and you don’t really know what you can believe. There are so many what ifs that I could run through. And taking a look is not a bad idea…but living there is. I must face what I must face and trust my heavenly Abba to walk me through to the other side. He has never let me down.

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Saying Goodbye to Parents…Again…

November 2, 2011

The time has come to say “goodbye” to my parents…so I did. Basically, my mother does not write at all and my father only writes about the weather…literally…the weather! So, this is what I wrote and I have peace about it. It is time. I have truly tried and they have not responded. Here it is. (I took out names and substituted explanations in parenthesis.)

*sigh*

I guess nothing will ever change. I am trying to have a real conversation…to build SOMETHING between us. Mom refuses to respond at all and you just want to talk about the weather while ignoring anything else I say. That is your right. You have done that for so long, I guess it would be odd for you to change now.

Do you really want to listen? Personally, I doubt that you can even hear me…or that you even want to hear me.

As far back as high school I felt as if something had happened between you and I. It was a persistent feeling that I kept shoving aside because I had no clear memories back then. But shoving aside the truth did not make it go away. It just simmered under there until the L-rd decided the time was right for some hints to come and, later, more complete memories.

I always felt uncomfortable going over to visit you and mom. I felt uncomfortable around both of you, but I kept going…trying to be the loving and dutiful daughter. Obviously…that is not important to you…just as I am not important to you.

I have a hard time understanding you. On one hand, you were the father who worked hard so that I could go to **** High School. On the other hand…you did not care about the fact that I felt uncomfortable with your kissing me on the mouth. You KNEW I did not like it…yet you persisted. Even when I would duck and dodge…you persisted. You did not care. I think you just wanted to maintain control over me. Even in my marriage, you and mom wanted to control me. It was so obvious…time and time again. 

Even before everything came down…before the memories started to come back…I did not really feel loved by you and mom. All you both seemed to care about was yourself. You did not care about how I felt.

You want me to respect you, yet you have not respected me. You would not even give me the courtesy of leaving me alone with (sis)’s body so that I could say “goodbye” in my own way. That hurt and just confirmed what I thought about you. 

You would not allow me to go with you to scatter her ashes…if you ever even did that. You made an unreasonable request for me to be alone with you and mom on an isolated beach. If it had not been for (hubby), we would not have gone to (where they used to live) to visit. He helped me to cope with wanting to have a “normal” family…and not having one. 

I think I know what you are doing. I think you are stalling because you want only one thing from me…access to (son). You know I won’t give it unless you give a damn about me first. When Mom dies, you will then try to hold that over my head…accusing me of being stubborn, unloving and hurtful by not allowing her to talk to (son).

Well…you know what? It won’t work. YOU are the one who won’t budge… who won’t give. If she dies without talking to him it will be on YOU. I have tried in so many ways… persistently… to build a bridge between us. But both sides have to want the bridge. It appears to me that neither of you want it.

l love you and mom, but that does not make me stupid. I refuse to push in where I am clearly not wanted. That would be rude of me. I write this with tears in my eyes. I love you, therefore, I am saying “goodbye”. I just can’t do this anymore. So I am going to give you what you want. I am going to leave you alone. I am blocking your email again. Don’t bother writing to me. There really is no point. I am not a weather only type of gal, so being that is all you are capable of talking about it serves no purpose to continue this dance.

If you want to give us the courtesy of knowing if one of you dies, just email (hubby). If you want to know if anything happens to one of us, you will also have to let (hubby) know. 

Even though I hate doing this…it does feel good because I know it is good for me. Hubby has been wanting me to do it for some time, but I had to be convinced of it myself. Well…now I am. It is simply time.

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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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Moving Forward…Slowly, but Surely…

July 9, 2011

I have been going to Good Grief…a six week grief group. It is based upon the book by that name by Granger E. Westberg. He lists stages of grief…which I cannot list at the moment because I cannot get my hands on my book in this mess we call “home”.  I don’t mind because I am grateful to finally have a house to live in!

Oh, never mind…here is the book. Ten stages of grief, listed as chapters:
Stage One: We Are in a State of Shock
Stage Two: We Express Emotion
Stage Three: We Feel Depressed and Very Lonely
Stage Four: We May Experience Physical Symptoms of Distress
Stage Five: We May Become Panicky
Stage Six: We Feel a Sense of Guilt about the Loss
Stage Seven: We Are Filled With Anger and Resentment
Stage Eight: We Resist Returning
Stage Nine: Gradually Hope Comes Through
Stage Ten: We Struggle to Affirm Reality

We have discussed stages one through seven in group. What an interesting time it has been. I have not only been sharing about my mother/parents, but also about other losses I have/am experiencing. I was hoping to write more about it, but I have been very busy. It has not helped that I have had to share my laptop and I still don’t have a separate place set up where I can concentrate on my writing.

However, I will keep on trying…plugging along as I can! It is really helpful that AR already knows my history and has an idea of the issues involved with my parents. What a sick family I come from. I am trying to create a healthy family in the present.

It is late here and I must be getting to bed. I will be back. I realize it may seem as if I have fallen off the planet, but I have not. Besides…I can’t. I have to get ready to give another Survivorship Webinar in August…on journaling!

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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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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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Emailed Mother…

April 13, 2011

Why? Good question. Perhaps I am simply a permanent optimist? Perhaps I am just always hopeful that something might have changed? Perhaps I am just plain nuts? Or even stupid?

I am not really expecting anything different this time. I am just making sure I am doing what I can do.

I am tired. The email from my father that was not supposed to get to me…the one that was supposed to be blocked…told me the criteria for us having a relationship. They call the shots…not me. Plus…we let them talk without interference with our youngest son and without us listening in. Hubby and I won’t do that. We just can’t.

I would actually be willing to let them talk to him…but only if we listen in. I am not telling them that, of course. I am not that stupid. I know it is all about him and them and not about me. I don’t count. I am unimportant…period. Such is my life. I am deemed worthy by others, but not by them.

Their loss.

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More on Assumptions…and Getting Free…

February 6, 2011

I started talking about assumptions in a previous post called Yours, Mine & ????… Now I will give another bit of the story.

I left off with my parents living in our house. They had manipulated their way in and there really was no end in sight. As we found out, they were not really serious about finding another place to stay. We gave them a break by not charging anything other than a token amount for food and utilities, but they saved no money. Once we finally figured this out, my hubby confronted them about it. Still…they were there and they had no money saved. That was a tough realization.

They were on the waiting list to get into an affordable place, but they were nowhere near the top. That meant they assumed that they would get to stay. Wrong! It did not turn out that way. G-d did a miracle and got them into a place way ahead of other people. Of course, there is also the possibility that they lied to us in the first place and were closer to getting in than they had let on. They did know someone who lived there who was recommending them, so that might have helped, too.

I think it is important to share a dynamic that was taking place before they moved. Although there it a lot still buried in the depths of amnesia and dissociation, I have very good reason to believe my mother was my trainer. She could trigger me so easily…a lot of knee jerk reactions. I will give an example.

I was going nuts with my parents being there. My mother would say something like “I know it is hard on you to have us here. If you need us to move, just tell us. We will find something…somewhere…somehow.” You get the idea. The old knee jerk reaction would hit. “Oh no, Mom. It’s OK. Really.” And I would walk away wondering why that would automatically come out and I could not just stay quiet. Opposing my parents was simply a no-no. And that was one of the blatant examples. There were many more subtle ways that I was being played and manipulated…even as a married woman.  That is…until Darlene came along. She was part of the beginning of my freedom.

Assumptions. My parents assumed they would continue to be able to control me…to trigger me for their evil purposes. Again…G-d had a different plan. I could not break free on my own. They were living in my house. They were setting off all kinds of programming. I was in danger. My son was in danger. Only I did not know that at the time.

My parents moved in during the month of August right not too long after my son’s fourth birthday. Talk about a vulnerable time. My husband started traveling…something very unusual with his job. A month after they moved in, I finally went to talk with my pastor and the worship leader with whom I was close. Although I was not “suicidal”, I did keep having suicidal ideations. I wanted to die…a lot. They convinced me to talk to my doctor about giving antidepressants another try. They also talked me into seeing a therapist. G-d used all of them to help me stay alive and get through the whole thing.

The first therapist (P) I saw for only one appointment. I couldn’t afford to continue with him, but he was someone to see until I could get into a different one. This is another way that I see the hand of G-d. I had left messages with several of the therapists, but he was the first to respond. As it just so happened, he was very knowledgeable about DID and had even written an article on it.

What he saw in me really concerned him. Knowing I would not be coming back to him and being afraid that I might have a suicidal alter trying to take me out, he shared his article and said to read it and think about it. He was very upfront about what he thought might be happening. He said that he, ordinarily, would never do that, but he was afraid for my life.

I took to heart what P had said and read his article. At first, I did not really relate to any of it, but the more I read, the more the light started to go off. I saw things he described that explained some things I had noticed in my life…things I just shrugged off as being who I am. Although a bit skeptical, I tried to keep an open mind and look for truth. I also prayed for truth…a LOT! I was very cautious about being “led”, but could see more and more of myself in some parts of the article. Bear in mind that I still did not have any clear SRA memories yet. I was very cautious…not wanting to assume and not wanting to be deceived…whether in my own mind or by anything in the spiritual realm. (Yes, I do know that demons exist.)

I started seeing B the next week. I told him what P had said and that I thought I might have DID. He just said, “we’ll see.” So, I just started paying attention. It was minor stuff really, but it was there. He remained unconvinced…so he told me. I was almost upset with him because I was pretty sure I had it, but wanted some confirmation…something he refused to give. I did not want to assume anything. So, I just kept observing and sharing. Then, one day in February, something happened.

I had been struggling to hold my own in my own home. A girlfriend came over…someone who had DID and was a cult survivor (although I don’t think I knew that about her…yet). We were talking about repressed memories and how they can come up. I shared about someone I had known a few years previously who had witnessed, as a child, her father murdering his mistress…the mother of her best friend. Years later, as an adult when she was safe, she started to have memories and PTSD surfaced big time.

Suddenly, my mother agreed with us. She said that she knew that could happen because she had memories that had come to the surface. I had to fight to keep my jaw from dropping. I looked at my girlfriend who knew that my parents had denied my memories. Or, at least my father had. I had to fight to keep from saying, “Mom…how can you say that and not believe me?” But I stayed quiet. I was floored and needed to process this.

The next night, I was kneeling on the floor of the kitchen digging something out of the corner cupboard. My husband was behind me facing the other counter. My father reached over me for something. Suddenly, I felt something hit my rear end. In retrospect, I think my father had something in his pocket and his jacket, which was very large and loose, just swung forward and hit me. At the time, though, it felt like my father had patted my rear end and I reacted immediately. I was instantly triggered…seriously triggered. I was in shock at the thought that he would actually pat me like that with my husband standing right there.

Somehow, I got up and made it to my room. I had my own room for art, computer, sewing, etc. It was my sanctuary. I closed the door behind me trying to figure out what to do. I was losing it. The next day was Valentine’s Day and we had a special day planned. I did NOT want to blow the day…for my poor husband’s sake.

As I started to sink to the floor, knowing I was completely shutting down, I said something. I don’t know if I quietly said it out loud or if I said it in my mind…but I know I did say it. It was something along the lines of, “please, I don’t know if you are there or not, but if you are, I really need your help because I cannot do this.”

At that point, I slid into the background and someone came forward. It was Darlene. I just watched and listened at that point. It was a very odd sensation…as if I was in the backseat or something.  I felt no emotion. I was impassively watching and hearing everything, yet was removed from it. When I went back out of my room, I could hear “myself” talking and see everything, but Darlene was in control.

Darlene was very key to my freedom and survival. My parents assumed they could get me out of the way, but they could NOT. They assumed they could get total control over my son. But they could NOT. And the best thing…Darlene had been created during my first marriage. I still do not have the details of that event, but this I know:  she was NOT trained by my mother and was, therefore, impervious to her triggering. She was very “unimpressed” with my parents and did not like them. I came to realize later that she had also been side by side co-present with me for about 18 years by that time…all unknown to me.

I find that, even after all this time, I am affected in the telling of this. So, I will stop for now and continue again later. I hope there are no spelling or grammar errors. I need to walk away from this and not reread the whole thing right now.

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