Coming Out of Cold Turkey

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by Motherearth Fathersun, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. I came across this forum whilst dealing with some family stuff. I can see that this site is for parents and I respect that it is a place to seek solace, comfort and support, and were it not for my FOO I might well have been one. But in some ways I have always been one from such a young age - I have my soul to parent! My reason for being here is to get the viewpoint my mother may have - there is any irony in that statement!

    I am posting because I found the thread below which absolutely described what I have just gone through and I feel such relief. It really has been like going cold turkey as I imagine it to be.

    I have always known my mother was odd and selfish in the extreme, but only recently after many years of trying to have a harmonious relationship with her (I'm now in my 50s) and failing, have I realised it's time to pull the plug. The decision came out of a place of frustration and anger, but had that not been the case, it might never have happened and I am now grateful that it did. Putting my welfare first should have happened decades ago.

    I am moving forward in my journey and I am starting to feel that although alone in this, but with the support of a wonderful husband, I am starting to see the light and feeling the sense of freedom.

    I now understand, but know that I can only change my life and have to leave behind regret and guilt.

    I had almost no contact with my birth father who died a few years back now, and my stepfather was underdeveloped and out of his depth taking on 2 children. My mother had issues from a young age and whilst she lives in a world of self help psychological healing, seems unable to put in place what she reads and learns. I hope one day she realises that she has been too wrapped up in herself to notice the damage she did to her children. My downfall is seeing things from others' perspectives too much.

    I am on my way to becoming a whole me and in the process must also look at the traits in me that I need to change. I know Motherearth and Fathersun will look after me along the way.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your mom is old. is there value in shunning her completely now? This helps you how?

    I am not a fan of totally shunnung anyone who didn't abuse you or shun you first. I don't know the specifics here, but I wonder what could be so bad that you made it with her 50 plus years yet would pull the plug on her while she is in her 70s or 80s.

    None of us shunned our mothers. Mine shunned me and would not let me back in, not the other way around. I look back and its sad to me she did this.

    in my opinion if you needed to cut the cord, due to severe abuse, then it should have been done when both of you were younger and physically healthier. Not at the tail end of her life. I don't understand this at all. You can pull back a bit without doing a full shun. I feel cold just thinking about doing something I feel is so cold. The timing is horrible.

    I have never heard of motherearth or fathersun. New to me and in my opinion not so wise if they support this late-in-life kiss off. This is a forum talking about our families and sometimes it wasnt pretty. But you wont read about us shunning our mothers, even though we wish they could have been more loving toward us.

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Respectfully, I disagree, SWOT. It was in my late fifties that my frail, nearly eighty year old mother suddenly drew her arm back as though to strike me, and laughed. If our parent is truly disordered, we will be re-traumatized, overtly or covertly, each time we interact with them.

    Have you seen a therapist who specializes in Family of Origin issues, MF?

    I've found Tara Brach's RAIN video helpful.

    Wishing you well, MF. Is your mother well-cared for?

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, cedar, yes, thst would be an exception...if they are STILL trying to hurt us.
  5. I have been through a hellish time in trying to deal with her not respecting my boundaries - how dare I this and that. The shun actually came as a last resort and in truth it wasn't a deliberate conscious shun but an attempt to protect my heart - she walks all over me and yes I accept now that I have let her in an attempt to win her approval. I grew up without feeling loved and only resentment. I am the middle child. As I said I read through the trauma experienced by the poster and it felt just like that, the tears I have cried over this in recent weeks is untrue, I have felt such grief and darkness.

    The shun came after an exchange of emails after having visited her and I was told that her husband would be vetting all messages from then on and that there would be no talking it through - as I had asked for us to do. Sadly, at this point I knew in a split second that I could not endure this any longer and told her to not contact me. It actually took a lot to say this and I was fearful of reprisal. In the past when I have tried to set boundaries I have received unkind mocking letters and then some months later an olive branch explaining how sorry she is etc. Over the last 15 years I have tried to help her see things from another perspective but she refuses and twists everything around - it is ALWAYS my fault/problem. I am not a blame person and try to find a resolution, however what I want is never respected where my mother is concerned, she is hung up on 'because I am your mother you should respect me'.

    As in all such cases there are so many threads and angles and I have not come on this forum to lambast parents per se. I was just so in tune with what the poster had described.

    My mother has a husband (no. 3) who cares for her but jumps to her every whim. He in fact left her a couple of years ago because he felt so put down by her. She needed to realise what she was loosing to value it and they are much better, though she gloats that she hasn't changed at all. She treats people as resources.

    I am sad that we are where we are but I value my own marriage and happiness more than keeping her happy. I have tried and have to heal my own heart now. I didn't realise there were quite so many adult children who found them selves in the same boat, equally how many parents had children that abused their parents - it has truly been an eye opener. As I said I found this site because I was trying to get another perspective - it is what I do, to see things from others point of view. However I have been doing this with my mother all of my adult life in order to have a harmonious relationship and I now realise that it can never be, it will always be one sided.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, there is a trend to totally dump family members. I can see just calling once a month or so, but it is painful to have NO CONTACT done to you. I would never have gone that far to an elderly relative. You dont have to be a doting daughter, but you can check in sometimes. Those who estrange others tend to get it back from their own children. It is familial. How would you feel being deserted in your very senior years by a child? Or all of thrm? You are setting an example. It is commonly repeated.

    I've read it all too and decided that no contact at all is abuse unless you were beaten or molested or robbed by parent. Also, you waited till your mothers last days. Most of these "adult children" are in their 30s and 30s, not 50s. I feel you and I are old enough to pull back wothout total estrangement. We are wiser than a young adult. Many of them will reconcile too. You dont have time on your side. Once you do it, its done. Final.

    How will you feel after she dies? There is no going back. Once my mother died snd disinherited me, it really hurt and I suffered with "what did ai do so bad? Why did she hate me?" To this day, I don't know. Did you at least explain this no contact??

    You may think you wont feel guilty and then be drowned in guilt. That would make her a huge part of the space in your head long after she is gone. You may feel swell now. Things change after death.

    I think my dad can be awful and abusive and controlling. He is 92. He still loves me. I dont want to hurt him just because he hurts me. I dont talk to him too much, but I do. I can be the bigger person.

    Hey, its up to you. I dont get no contact and have no idea why your husband is cheering you on. Your mother sounds obnoxious. So does my dad. You have a part in this difficult relationship too just as I did with my mother. I own that. It is almost never one way. Do you think you have a part in this?

    In short, I know of no estrsngement that went well. Also, the rest of the family tends to get involved and take sides. Aunts, cousins, your own children....drama.

    You are not 25 and your mother isn't robust and 40. It is cruel, no matter what, to estrange somebody this old, even if she isnt easy to deal with.

    If you cut her out for the few years she has left, I dont think you will like who you are and what you did and it could last the rest of your and your familys life.

    Good luck. I dont want to revisit this thread again. Think hard about this.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My thinking is more like SWOT's. I was estranged from my own mother for many years but we reconciled for many years but lived distant from each other. Still, we spoke multiple times a week. We learned to avoid difficult topics. If it was painful to visit, I just did not. In those phone calls there was a lot of love and friendship.

    When she became ill I tried my best to take care of her. Even still I was overcome with regret and guilt when she died and I could not go back and change my life. I came to regret my whole life and believe much of it was lived badly because I did not live from my love for my mother. I never realized the great depth of my love for her and came to believe I had lived a lie.

    I say that is hard to know what is the self-protective thing to do. I thought I was doing it by making distance. In retrospect, it has caused me agony. I had a good and full life, at what cost?

    Maybe I will someday feel differently. Maybe not. I believe that we can confront our own problems and limits without causing harm and great pain to those who love us and who we love. Had I been a stronger person I would have lived that way.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well, SWOT, my sister did this and I do not think she has had a moment's second thought. My sister makes everybody around her the bad guy and does not take responsibility for herself. After living 60 years close up to my mother and always with her hand out. People do not always suffer. But I did not know that I would either, and I did. If I had not had taken care of my mother to have had something to mitigate my grief and guilt I wonder if I would have survived her death. I really wonder what would have happened.
  9. Thanks for your insight Ladies. Scent of Cedar you have been most helpful, I do believe she is disordered, but only through recent research have I realised to what extent.

    I can't possibly tell you everything on here it has been lifelong and insidious, and it has only recently dawned on me how manipulative she is - other family members have distanced themselves over the years and lost contact with her.

    Your responses tell me you didn't really read through my posts and just take the view you must be an awful person - I have no children and have always felt I could not take the risk of doing to them what I and my elder sibling went through - I knew I wasn't quite a whole person and have managed to finally like myself and realise I am not SO bad afterall. I shouldn't need to spell out if there was sexual or extreme abuse - emotional abuse leaves deep scars - I now choose to work on healing me rather than pleasing my mother.

    My mother is not the frail incapacitated little old lady you seem to suggest.

    Perhaps you lack the empathy to see that not all parents are good.

    No more JADEing.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You need to quit diagnosing other people.

    You will do what you think is right. I just think you will suffer for it one day, unless you lack the capacity to feel remorse.

    Of course Cedar, who I dearly love,was most helpful to you. You are looking only for agreement. I am sorry......this forum is not the place for people who only see things one way. But there are forums like that. On this forum we present all points of view.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think I did shun my father--but I was only about 26. I had never even heard the word. I felt degraded by him and by his lifestyle. I decided I just did not want to be dirtied anymore. I felt guilt but not to the point it overran my decision. But when I was 26 he was maybe 53.

    I have to say that 12 years later when I found out he had died I was devastated.

    We do not ever think that our parents will die--except as a theoretical possibility--and even if we face it, we do not know how we will really feel and what the consequences for us will be. By the time we are middle age, we have the capacity to protect ourselves, to take responsibility for our own psyches--so that we can guard against being deeply hurt by them, by setting boundaries and by our own therapies. There are ways of taking responsibility that protect both people, and avoid deep hurt to them both. I think that is what SWOT is saying, and I agree.

    My mother could never ever hear one iota of criticism. Her whole life with me and mine with hers. She could not bear it. At the end she told somebody else that she wanted to tell her daughters she was sorry, but she never could. This makes me very very sad for both of us because I wanted to tell her too that I was sorry but I did not. At the end I could not accept it was my fault--I felt that saying I was sorry and asking her to forgive me, would be admitting I was to blame. I did not realize that asking for forgiveness and giving it are not admissions of blame or fault. They are taking responsibility and giving and asking for mercy.

    I can understand an elderly person wanting to shield themselves from hearing searing and difficult things about themselves as parents. And I see that as every bit as valid as insisting that they hear.

    Have you learned about the feedback system? The faint images to the lower right of each post. They are a kind way to give positive feedback when a post has been helpful or you feel positively in some way or another. We try to avoid directly negative personal feedback. I have erred a couple of times, and I am greatly sorry for when I did.

    Whether you agree with us or not, we wish you strength and wisdom in working this through. You and your mother have our compassion and best wishes.