BDP daughter wants to her & I to go family therapy

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Billy63, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

    Been a while since I last posted as I have been unable to walk from painful joints. BPDaughter has been texting every now & then to see if I'm ok yet only visited for me to look after grand daughter. She actually sent flowers but not once did she do any shopping for me or ask if I needed anything. I found out that a few times she was literally 5 minutes away seeing other people but didn't even bother to drop by to see me as she's always "busy". Last week I had the baby overnight then I took her back. Daughter was cold & indifferent towards me more than usual. I asked if she was ok & was told that she really didn't want to have a relationship with me. She did say that she has a lot to say to me & that I was horrible to her when she was younger & that her brother & sister agree that I singled her out! I was shocked. She then said that she wanted her younger sister to mediate. I stood my ground & said I would go see a family therapist but only if its with a professional objective person. She said some nasty things & I was visibly shaken. I am estranged from my mum not by choice & I still wish I had her in my life & I forgave her for the physical & emotional abuse I suffered. I told my daughter that I made mistakes & was sorry but I was not like my mum yet I could forgive her. She said she could never feel that way & didn't want me in her life. So why go to mediation? I agreed & found someone like she asked yet she has cancelled 3 times so far. I think she didn't expect me to agree. She thinks that she spout her vicious lies & I will have to say sorry & it will be ok. Don't think it will work out the way she wants. I admit that I found her hard to cope with when her Dad left she was 12 years old & hated me. I had 3 kids she hated me, my son was depressed & my youngest was unwell in and out of hospital their Dad left after an affair. Was absent & she blamed me. I was down & found it hard to cope especially eith her rudeness, swearing at me, physically pushing me around, causing trouble in the house, disruptive stealing from me. Stealing from her sister. Staying out all night, getting in trouble at school. It was so hard. She was suffering & angry because R her Dad left yet she was angry with me. She hated me & told me she wished I was dead. Iam a human being too and I did my best. I'm so worried & sick about the Family therapist. I don't know what to say. My daughter is doing her usual not talking to me but I know she will if she needs a babysitter. She even accused me of not really wanting my grand daughter whom I so obviously adore! I have her overnight quite frequently! I made her take that back. She doesnt remember any of the good stuff in her childhood. I so hope the therapist can help us get to a better place. I know that I refuse to lie prostrate on the floor and just get verbally abused by my daughter. I deserve better. I Feel sick all the time. Problem is when she starts I just want to cry as the things she says are so untrue & nasty. She is emotionless when she says things to me & is so cold it hurts too much! What do I say to the therapist? I'm so ambivalent about it.
  2. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Hi Billy63 -- So sorry to hear it's been so difficult and tense in your family situations. That's very hard on a heart.

    I can't really address your daughter's responses to you as I don't know that much about her or her particulars. Although, I surely don't like the sound of someone treating you so poorly.

    The one thing I can say about your life is that it concerns me to hear how it affects your physical and emotional health. I think we've all felt some degree (in varying levels) on this site. So painful. As there is no "signature bio" beneath your post, I don't know anything about your daughter's age or life situation.

    But you do have the right to be healthy and happy in your own life -- aside from hers. Whatever her difficulties are, you have the right to set boundaries which protect you and nourish your health and happiness. Boundaries don't limit love, they just limit pain.

    Consider what boundaries you can put in place to nourish yourself during this stage of your life and current set-up. Is there anything you can do to SUBTRACT some things which hurt you, or ADD some things which heal you? Even.........some fun? Laughter heals a myriad of wounds in the most unexpected ways. If not laughter or smiling, then, at least, peace and quiet and "you time"?

    Sending virtual hugs to you for your broken heart.......and keeping a prayer that your health and happiness find their way back to you (regardless of what you daughter does).
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  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Billy,
    Your daughter has quite a bit of misplaced anger. It is not uncommon for children to act out when their is a divorce and many times they will choose a side. In your case your daughter chose to blame you. You did the best you could in a difficult situation. You were dealing with your own emotions of your marriage falling apart plus you had children that you had to be there for. There is no right or wrong, I'm sure you made mistakes just like the rest of us have. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. It simply is what it is.

    So many times when there is a trauma in our lives we can get stuck there. Your daughter is stuck in the past, she is continuing to hold onto the anger she felt towards you, continuing to blame you and yet when she needs a babysitter you are on speed dial.

    When she says ugly things to you just remember it's her emotions that are talking. She has a hurt deep down inside of her that she has never dealt with in a healthy way. Your daughter did not have an ideal childhood. All I can say to that is get in line sweetie, there are many like you. She is an adult now and can make the choice for herself to continue looking back into the past or to live in the present time. Each day we get a brand new start. You can't live in the past and present at the same time. The past holds no power over us unless we give it power.

    It's really unclear what her motivation was in suggesting family counseling. I think if she will agree to go it would help you both. I also think it would be good for you to do individual therapy.
    Be completely honest, lay all your cards on the table. The only way a therapist can really help is if they have the most complete picture of your life.

    Billy, I do hope you are doing something good for yourself, it's ok. Go get a pedicure, do some shopping. Do you have a hobby that you no longer do? Do you have a hobby that you would like to start?

    You cannot change the past, what is done is done. You can only live for today, so make the most of this moment, of this day.

    I'm glad you shared. Stay close to this site. Be good to yourself.

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  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As someone who perceives herself as the scapegoat of the family, I would have really felt validated and closer to my mother if she had agreed to counseling. I don't know where your daughter is coming from or what happened that has her in this place, but if YOU want to try to help, I hope the counseling works...and that is assuming she will go.

    Now if you go and she uses therapy, not to listen to you as well as to speak herself, but as a place to abuse you without listening to your side... then I would not attend again and just do "less is more" as far as contact with Daughter. If you don't get her angry, she will probably offer you your grandchild more often and that is really your goal.

    I am sorry you are dealing with this. Just remember that you can not control another person, even your own adult child, and make the adult child want to heal. If you try and she doesn't, it is on her shoulders then, not yours. You are far from a horrible mother.
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  5. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Hi billy I am sorry for your pain. I would recommend that you all try family therapy with a good professional therapist. My family of origin did this years ago when my sister died after a long illness. It really opened my eyes to who my parents were and are---as people not just my parents. I saw them in a whole new light and was able to put aside some old hurts attached to my father, after hearing his life story and better understanding his past and what made him the person he is. It could be very healing for you all if the person who leads you is skilled. Warm hugs. We are here for you.
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Billy. If she keeps cancelling the therapy appointments I would not make more, until she takes the initiative and does so.

    I second the idea of Alanon and psychotherapy. You need support. You also need to develop a thicker skin if you want a relationship with your daughter so that you can find a constructive way to handle her meanness to you, and not take it personally.

    This is not uncommon that daughters blame their mothers unfairly. I would try to learn to consider the source. Your daughter cannot and does not determine your worth, or can she really understand your experience and point of view. I was in your situation. I was extremely sensitive to what my son said about me, particularly to other people, like my neighbors. I felt it was unjust and I felt so exposed and betrayed by him.

    WRONG. Why did I give him this power?

    I wish I had not spent even 5 minutes in pain. If he wants to or needs to portray me in a negative light, it is on him, not me. I was a good mother. End of story. I love him with all my heart. End of story.

    If you need help coming to that point, where it runs off your back, ditto, therapy and Alanon.

    I echo the other posters. You decide when you are available to babysit, not your daughter. You take control over your life. Acquire some new hobbies. Write your memoir. Start a home-based business. Join a quilting group (sounds fun to me.)

    Do not allow her to victimize or use you. Challenge yourself to say "no."

    She has a big mouth. Why do you even care what she says? You are the one who knows your feelings, and commitments, not her. Ditto Alanon and psychotherapy here so that you can bulk yourself up, to not care so much.

    You are the adult in the room here. You were the best mother you knew how to be and could be. That goes for all of us. There is no perfect mother. If our children need to distance themselves, so be it. Go out and have a great life.

    Believe me, there is nothing easy here. Don't think it is easy for me, either. We have to take care of ourselves. You do not deserve to suffer. Not one bit.
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    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  7. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

    I'm sitting in my living crying with relief that someone understands & cares. Thank you. I'm so shocked at the lies and venom she spits at me. I spoke to my old school friend who has been a close family friend and was there when my daughter was 12 as I was starting to question myself. Thankfully she was there many times and witnessed the way I was mistreated by my daughter. My daughter is 28 now! My background is: I have a daughter with I suspect Borderline Personality Disorder who is 28, a son of 26 who has a great job & is doing well and a younger daughter who suffers from an autoimmune disease from aged 4 she is now 22 and graduating from University. Their Dad left after an affair with his secretary. The kids were 12,10 and 6. We had been married for 19 years and met at 16 years old. We had a good marriage until he became a multi millionaire & money changed him. He favoured our eldest daughter. During the break up he couldn't be bothered with the kids and treated me and them atrociously. My daughter hated me even though her Dad in the end admitted it was his fault but she loved him so much. My son became depressed & he got counselling but even to this day his Dad belittles him. My youngest was a quiet thoughtful child in and out of hospital but is a determind young lady. I think that I had a bit of a breakdown when it happened crying as I was so shocked, devastated and I had to cope with everything alone. I tried so hard to be a good mother and I know we had lots of holidays and happy times. I did overcompensate and would try so hard but with my eldest it was never enough. Once she pushed me through a glass table! She has punched me and called me hideous names. Even as an adult she has been rude towards me. Everything is black and white to her there's no grey area. I do think that her Dad and I let them down as the divorce wasn't handled very well. He was absent and rude to me setting the tone. He never sided with me regardless of what my daughter did. My childhood was awful my mum beat us & emotionally abused us too. We ended up in a children's home which I loved as I at last felt safe. My mum cut me out of her life when I was 26 I ran away from home at 17 and Iam now tired. I tried extra hard to be a good mother or a good enough one. My daughter reminds me of my own mother and that scares me. She adores my grand daughter but how will she cope if she becomes a rude insolent teenager. I pray to God that her husband sticks around as I know he suffers with her moods and irrationality. I pray that she turns up to therapy. She wants validation that I singled her out. But I didnt. I will admit that there were a couple of occasions that I wZnted her to go live with her Dad but she refused to go. It was her idea to get therapy so surely she wants to move forward? My fear is that she will use the opportunity to attack me. Apparently she confronted her Dad about his neglect & other things he did to hurt her, he apologised and they're ok now! When I have apologised for our strained relationship it's not enough. There are different rules it seems. I'm exhausted physically & mentally. I've been Unwell on and off all year. When the doctor asked if I was stressed I just laughed. I'am not depressed just devastated. I hate myself. I don't want to be a victim I am a fighter, I don't normally give up. Please God I have to find the strength & you all really have helped me. I thank you so sorry if I'm rambling on.
  8. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

    by the way I have been hiding myself away at home but today I have listened to your advice and am meeting friends for coffee. I need to laugh like I used to. Thanks
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  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She PUNCHED you?
    Did you call the police?
    Please be careful. That takes this to a new level. Please be careful and don't be surprised if she doesn't show up. She brought up the therapy simply because she thought you'd resist and she could use that against you. You surprised her by agreeing to it. Don't be shocked by anything.

    And have fun with your friends :)
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Even if she doesn't show up for therapy, you keep going. Therapy can be wonderful.

    Also Alanon is just for you and it's just like this group therapy with people who really get it. Two great tools to help us change and grow and cope with life regardless of what other people do or don't do.
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  11. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

    she said that she would pay half for the two hour session. I can't afford it on my own really as I have my younger daughters graduation to pay for. But this is important so I want to do it. I think you are right I will keep the appointment and go alone if I have to. It may do me some good. I feel as if I've been punched in the stomach. At least I've lost weight! There's always a positive! What I find really distressing is he version of the past. She doesn't remember any of the good things I did and continue to do for her. I'm sad and angry at the same time. It's not a good way to be. I'm praying that the therapist will help us resolve our "issues" as I too am unhappy at her treatment but usually let things go. IM not one to bear grudges. She has me in the evil pile and doesn't see that people are flawed people aren't Good or Bad. I always forgive because it's damaging to hold onto bitterness. But I don't want to be a doormat.
  12. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

    In reply to somewhere out there, no I didn't call the police. She was about 19 when she did that. She also shoved me onto a glass table and tore my coat in a struggle. Once she attacked me in front of her Dad and he just let her. I think part of the problem is he likes it that way. He hates me for moving on from our marriage. He always thought I would wait for him to return! That was 16 years ago when we divorced! He has since married the mistress has two kids with her, has a terrible drink problem and is very miserable. He has always tried to control the kids and me. When I got married 4 years ago he poisoned the kids against me. They are adults now but he is very manipulative. He showers them with money. I don't have money but I gove them my time, love and practical help. He is never there for emergencies or to help them. He refuses to pay for the graduation stuff for my youngest or the photographs yet he takes them out and pays for £300 bottles of wine! It disgusts me. This is what I have been up against for the last 16 years. Being a parent is not about money.
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  13. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

    Sometimes I worry that we have brought up a generation of narcissistic self centred children who judge their parents. Instead of children seeking love and resoect from their parents it is the other way around. We live in a warped sick world.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Not all kids are like that. But parents that overindulge their children with material things, don't make them work for anything, and tell them how cool it is that Mr. so-and-so has a fancy car and that he wishes HE could is setting the table for it. However, our adult children are adults. They decide thier own minds and do what they want to do. If they want dad's money and will reject you because of that, this is on the adult children's shoulders. Dad can't force them to go along with him. They are choosing to do it.Five year olds can be brainwashed, but twenty year olds know exactly what is going on.If you had the money, they'd probably like you better.

    Divorce is an ugly, hurtful event and it happens way too often these days.

    I know a woman in real life who has an ex who was suspected (but not charged) of killing a girl in a hit-and-run accident and has been arrested for cocaine use and he is very prosperous. His two girls live with him because he gives them things and he tells them that if they talk to their mother, he will cut off the money. So she doesn't see her girls. They don't want to lose the goodies that dad can provide. Says more about the girls, now adults, than the mother, I think. The man also physically abused the woman when married to her and his second wife is divorcing him. She recently called the woman to ask if she'd be a witness for her, saying he physically abused her too. These two girls were always coddled and given everything. When the family broke up, they chose to follow t he money. It's a sad state of affairs and, yes, getting even more common than it used to be I think.

    My own personal, liberal opinion is that most PEOPLE are too materialistic and worried about how they look to others and that includes Babyboomers. Most want to look great, like looks are very important, have fancy things, send their kids to fancy colleges (partly so they can brag) and partly because they have not learned how to be content with the simple things in life that are there for free. But that's a whole other thread and a whole other topic :)
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  15. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

    You hit the nail on the head they are now adults and should know better. The story you told us so, so sad. We do live in a dreadfully materialistic world. Things and money do not fill the hole inside you or feed your soul
  16. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

    I haven't heard from my Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) daughter in a week. As she is "busy". She lives half an hours drive from where I live. Today she sends a photo to her Step Dads phone of my grand daughter. And is that isn't bad enough I notice that she is in a cafe 5 minutes from my house! She has done this so many times! It's so hurtful! She just wants to torture me. It's made me sick to my stomach. She knows I'm unwell and I can't walk very well at the moment and I feel low yet she doesn't pop in to let me see my grand daughter! I will bring this up in therapy if she turns up. We are going on June 19th but I doibt she will turn up. Please can you tell me am I being over sensitive?
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm answering on my cell phone so expect a few typos. Sometimes it even changes the words I type. So I hope u can read

    Yep u r being too sensitive. People like us with family members who are mean and like to bait us and hurt us either get tough skin and change our outlook or the person who wants to hurt us will do so over and over again we need to stop our expectations that they will be caring and loving and take a hard look at who they are and what that means to u.

    Your daughter is a mean person. It's not illegal to be mean sou can't change that. She wants to hurt u. That's not illegal either and it goes along with not being nice. She has graNdchild and u claim she is a good mother. I kind of doubt this looking at her older kids but you can't call c p s without proof of abuse. They won't do anything. It is not ur right to be able to see your graNdchild and this daughter wants to hurt you.She will be nice at times to give hope then suddenly pull away. That is what mean people do. They play games with ur head and you either keep playing along and get hurt or stop playing.

    She will keep coming back and leaving. The best things can do for yourself is to expect her to be hurtful, admit that sadlybecause of how she is u will not see ur graNdchild on ur terms. She may stop u from seeing him i be day and tell him u r a bad person. What can u do?

    To me the only sane thing is to detach with love. Read the article on detachment on the top of this page. Be good to yourself. Stop expecting your daughter to change. She is giving you minimal niceness before she moves in for another kill. She is incapable of a long term healthy normal relationship with anyone. But she loves the mind games. Trust me, if they go and come back and go and come back, this will not stop. Nice/not nice/nice/accusations you are bad/back again when THEY want/you're gone when they decide to hurt you again. Been there, done that, wore the will not get better. It won't stop.

    Focus on yourself. You have another child and graNdchild if u want to love on a graNdchild. Don't make it ur whole life. Get good therapy that u can afford to keep attending. Go out and work or volunteer or work out or do all the things love to do.

    I have had to let go of people and move on. It hurts at first especially if it is because u withdrew either completely or partially because they really rejected u first. U will feel like bad and unworthy and most of all wonder why you are so terrible that she seems to disregard your feelings entirely.

    You have to stay grounded in reality. Ur other daughter sees you differently. Your friends and other family members love you. Don't let her destroy u even if she brings others in or tried to. That is on her, not u. Anyone who jumps on her train isn't really your friend anyway.

    Stand tall, chin up! Backtracking what this daughter is doing and move on. Yes, I know you love your grANdchild but you can't force her to let you see him. If you can't control it, move on to loving yourself and doing what is best for you. In time you will be much stronger and the hurt will either be gone or be much less. Distance gives you perspective. Just because your daughter says things about you doesn't make them true even if she really believes herself.
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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  18. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

    You are so right she does play mind games just like her father! She has learnt to divide and rule from a master. She sucks me in sending me messages to say she loves me then she wants something. Once she gets it she reverts back to icing me out of her life. I have good friends, two other adult children, a husband and a job working with pre schoolers. My plate is full and I'am lucky but the pain of my fractured relationship with my eldest daughter is unbearable at times. Going through a very bad time this year. I have to ride it out and get even busier. If it wasn't for my grand daughter I don't even know if I would miss my daughter. That's hard for me to admit. There have been great times in the last few years where we have all gone out as a family for dinner and we have laughed and bonded. We catered for 100 people at our expense for my grand daughters 1st birthday, had a great day but she never thanked me only her StepDad! I feel like I don't exist. Its me that cooked, cleaned and decorated he just sorted out drinks! I'm starting to doubt myself all the time. But noone else has a problem with me. I have to stop complaining. Therapy will be good for me regardless of whether she comes or not.
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  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Billy, you do have many blessings. Why focus on the one that's not?

    Look, I have had good times with people who are playing mind games with me too. They can be very nice and then turn on you and you don't know what hit you. It is best not to let them take up too much space in your head. Focus on your very full and busy life. I know you love your grandchild, but you will not be able to have a normal relationship with him because of his mother. She is going to do this to you until you put a stop to it by no longer engaging her unless absolutely necessary. No money. No taking the blame (hang up on her if she starts that or delete her text and don't text back). I am at a point with some people who've been playing with me forever and I no longer want to see them ever again, and I mean it. I know this is your daughter and you do want to see her, but you can limit your time, bring somebody with you for safety, and not have long conversations with her as she will turn them on you.

    Count your blessings, not your curses ;)
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  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You could be taking the stress out on yourself through an autoimmune response.

    At one point? I developed a heart murmur. Some years later, it had resolved on its own. But I had developed allergic asthma.

    I still have that.

    I'm sorry that is happening to you. That must be an awful feeling, to try to know what to do with that really cruel behavior on your own child's part.

    That is so nasty.

    You were in a happy grandmother heart space when she picked to hurt you, when she picked to dominate you in this way. Maybe she picked then to do what she intended to do all along because she could not stand to see you happy from that time spent with your grand, and she wanted you to know she holds that power over your happiness and self identity.

    What a biatch.

    Just think. She would hurt her own child, would take away her own child's grandmother, would take away and sully that so magical thing as the kind of love that happens between a child and a grandmother, to "prove" to herself she has power over you.

    "Power over" is a descriptive term having to do with how unhealthy people prey on their victims ~ with how they see them and with how they see themselves through how they see us.

    You can step out of that circle.

    But you have to see it for what it is, first.

    Do you see the set up here, Billy?

    Do you see yourself being primed, and do you see that you had all the power in the world to have changed that dynamic?

    Once you see those things, that will be the power you hold to protect yourself from this very manipulative woman who is your daughter, and who should not be playing those games with you.

    She should not be playing those games with you, Billy.

    And she is using your love for her to do it.

    That is always how predators get in. They find our vulnerabilities ~ our love, or our trust, or our woundedness in some area, and they twist that knife for all they are worth and accuse us of being bad housekeepers because there is always blood all over the place, every time they come to our house.

    That is just how they do it.

    And we are so busy trying to staunch the flow our heart's blood and clean up the mess and apologize for bleeding that they get us, again.

    But once we can see it? We can say so. And the abuser, like every bully who ever lived throughout all of time always does, will whirl off and accuse us of hurting them and will tell us they never want anything more to do with us because we are such crummy, untrustworthy people.

    And if we are really pretty trusting people?

    We believe them, and we continue to believe in them, every time.

    That's why we get sick after awhile, I think. Our brains haven't been able to get through to us. So our bodies say: "STOP IT."

    And our predators? Will use that, too.

    They will use anything to destroy everyone around them. If you look into their other relationships, you learn they do what they did to you to everyone tenderhearted enough to let them in.

    That is how you know who they are.

    Even hurting us as they do is nothing personal.

    It is just who they are.

    We need to stand up, Billy.

    You, and me, too.

    Do you see the threat here, Billy? If she had something to say that she felt she needed to say, she would have said it. She would have said, "Mom I love you. I love you too much to harbor feelings I do not want to hold for you. Could w talk about that right now, Mom?"

    But instead, she is torturing you.

    And that is what she is doing here Billy.

    Torturing you and threatening and softening you up for more.

    When we are being abused, we need to keep a firm hold on what healthy interaction would look like. That is how we can know what is really happening. Torture and threatening and power-overing?

    That is being a bully and a coward.

    Which, in this interaction, your daughter is choosing to be.

    They say it is a likely possibility that genetics are responsible for the kind of people we are. More than nurturing, more than trauma, more than any reason we could find to excuse bullying and hatred and cowardice. I have a mother wound too, Billy. Your daughter's behavior in dancing away in that deep, unhealed wound in your heart is reprehensible.

    I am so sorry she is doing that to you.

    Perhaps you could read on the Family of Origin threads along with those of us determined to heal our own mother wounds, Billy. You would be so welcome to join us. We all are finding incredible validation there, and we witness for one another there, and we seem to be coming through it.

    Whether you post to us there or not: Your daughter should not use your woundedness. She should be holding you to her heart with compassion. She should be witnessing and mirroring your own loving heart and building strength and self worth for you both.

    What she is doing instead is very wrong.

    Because she is playing a game, Billy. She no more wants an objective observer who could protect you from the harm she means to do than any coward or bully does. Secrets are very important currency to predators. They love to know them about us; they seek them out.

    What I see is that your daughter is triangulating. She has dominated your other children. She intends to see you destroyed.

    You must have been an excellent, loving, kind and forgiving mom, Billy. Or she would not be trying to destroy you through that concept of self that you formed as a good mother to your children.

    She would need to destroy you, still. For reasons probably having to do with genetics, that is the kind of person she is. But she would be using a different place in your psyche to mount the attack from.

    You were a good mother, an excellent mother, probably that cookie-baking mom everyone wishes they had. Or she would not hate you for that very thing, and would not be trying to destroy, not only her own memories of you as mother, but those of her sibs, as well.

    Predators are like that.

    I don't know why.

    I only know that once you can see it, the fuel firing this nasty game vanishes. Suddenly, there is no "oomph" in it. They redouble their efforts. And no matter what they say or do or think or believe, we understand it has nothing to do with us. Anymore than any abusive behavior has anything to do with the victim.

    It never does, Billy. When we have been abused, though it hurt us so badly? In the end, we find out that it had nothing in the world, not in any smallest way, with us, with who we are.

    But it had everything, on every level, to do with the person determined to abuse, to hold power over.

    And here again, once we see it, we never unsee it again where that particular abuser is concerned. Not in one single thing that they do.

    What happens then I think is that you decide how the relationship will look. And you refuse to accept anything less.

    So, everyone can heal.

    That is why you have to stand up, Billy.

    You cannot lend credence to her insanity. That would be enabling. When our children are troubled, we cannot allow ourselves to enable that part of them.

    Once we see them for who they are, the other predators in our lives can be safely disregarded, because we do not love them like we do our children.

    That's the cool thing about resolving our issues. All at once we can see the predators.

    And there are so many of them out there, and their techniques are so really clumsy, that we wonder how it was that we never once saw them, before.

    I think she hated you before that, Billy. I think it is a matter of genetics.

    Maybe she used the sorrow you felt at the loss of a father figure in the home for her sake to climb on top of you in that time. But I believe she would have found some other way to hurt you. People who do this kind of thing use our own vulnerabilities against us.

    It was your love for her, your deep sorrow for her sake, that the marriage had fallen apart, that she used to hurt and to dominate.

    She is still using it, to this day. That may be the core wounding for you. That you did not protect, that your family could not be what you were so sure you could build, for yourselves and your children, together with your husband.