Feeling a bit disconnected and stuck in a time warp - A Vent

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marcie Mac, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I have been trying my best to take the high road with my family, trying to make peace and just let the past go, especially with my mother who is getting up there in years.

    My younger brother passed away on Saturday - he was only 53 and had pancreatic cancer. The few times he was visiting my mother, I tried to get him on the phone to no avail, he would just walk out of the room and she would make excuses why he couldn't talk. We were not close - I left when he was 13, and only saw him one other time back in 1978. He never bothered to keep in touch, nor did I. I recently sent him a card to say how sorry I was that he was ill, and I would keep some positive thoughts for him. Never got an acknowledgement but that is ok - I never expected one. He was always the golden boy of the family - could never do any wrong - I was the difficult child and everyone breathed a sigh of relief, I am sure, when I left.

    I was just pondering how, despite being on my own, never ever asking anyone in my family for as much as a penny, working hard, raising a family, buying my own house, keeping a decent paying job in the same place for years, that I can never get past being the person I was at 17 in their eyes (not to mention my mother embelishing stuff that happened along the way in a way to make her look like a martyr and me the continual bad guy) Why was setting down my boundaries with my mother that I would no longer allow her to cross always ended up as a bad thing as far as they were concerned (but to be fair, she probably didn't tell them she went to hit me with a shoe at 43 cause she didn't like my attitude - a favorite tactic of hers when she couldn't get to me with cruel words - I didn't actually throw her out of my house but threw her out of my bedroom- but at this point, its moot - they have no idea (or want to know) of the person I became and there is no clearing of my name or charges of what I did/didn't actually do). Witz, I know you can relate :)

    My mother is understandably upset over my brother - I get that. I am sad for things that never were to be for me and my family, I spent most of my childhood wishing I would find out I was adopted, or the hospital made an error, and I had some other family out there who would come to claim me. But is it really necessary for me to be told "The last of my family has died - I have no one left - I am all alone in this world" After about the third time of her saying this, I called her on it and said would you stop saying that. And she says, I didn't mean it THAT way, like I am over reacting, and then gets upset because I got a tad upset with her. She was at my brothers house, and am sure how the conversation went with other family members when she hung up. Sigh...

    Who knew at almost 58 I would have something in common with Peter bleeping Pan. This taking the high road and being the better person..I don't know if I can walk it much longer. My difficult child'ness is starting to rear its head after being dormant for ever so long, and am sure I see briefly a slight glimmer of a fork in the road up ahead heading straight downhill again. Being belittled and sort of being told I am not worth much in counting as an actual family member is starting to get to me..augggg

    Marcie :919Mad:
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Some relationships are toxic. It sounds like your relationship with your mother is. More importantly, it sounds like she is. I don't know if you can walk away from your mother. I know I can't from mine. If you can, maybe now is the time.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You don't have any more family? After reading your post, I could have sworn our mothers must be sisters, which would make us cousins! My family is toxic too, and it is not fun.

    I'm sorry you are feeling the brunt of it the past few days. You've obviously made yourself into a successful and worthwhile person, so I know you'll pull through this. Try not to let it get to you and keep yourself occupied so you don't hear the "echo" of those painful, negative words going through your mind- trying to tear you down.

  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I have a similar situation with my family and mother. I can empathize.

    It doesn't seem to matter how thick you build the wall of your defenses and think you've put the past behind you when something comes up that seems to yank you back into feeling the way you did as a kid. It still hurts.

    I'm sorry for the passing of your brother. It's a shame he never took the time to know you better and the woman you became. You reached out and tried. You couldn't do more than that.

    My mother has a gift for twisting reality to suit her needs/wants. I accepted that long ago when I decided that in order to respect her I had to accept the person she is. Doesn't mean I have to LIKE the person she is, nor does it mean we have to have a close relationship. (and we don't) My sibs believe what she tells them if it suits what they want to believe. You wouldn't believe some of the wild feedback I get on the rare occasion I speak to them. I laugh because it's so darn outragious and their dumb enough to actually believe it.

    I keep my distance from that unhealthy drama. I call Mom reg. I'll be polite if my sibs call and such. (no problem as this is maybe once every few years) I don't wish them ill. No hard feelings. Just no real tangible feelings at all.

    It's sad. But there is nothing else I can do. Taking the high road doesn't work with my family. After years of getting burned, I finally figured that out.

  5. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    I have good news! You are adopted!

    We adopted you years ago. :0)
    Sorry to hear about your brother and that the rest of your family still hasn't realized you aren't a 17 yr old difficult child anymore. I know how it is having stuff from your teenage years hanging over your head by your family. My dad does it all the time.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I was disinherited. When my mother passed away I found out. She never liked me much, and I don't see anyone in my family as they pretty much don't really know me. I refuse to let that bog me down. I'm too old, life is precious, and I concentrate on the good side of life. You know what? Your mom is sick. If you let a sick woman (I mean, who hits a grown child with a shoe???) bug you for the rest of your life, you'll be wasting it. I'll bet you have REAL "family" ie. friends who treat you like family--and your own children and maybe a husband or SO. I would try to move past the hurt. When you see your mother, know in advance that she's going to be difficult and let it bounce off of you. If you can't, see her less. Being older is no excuse for her to treat you like dirt. There is never an excuse for that. And, remember, just because she happened to give birth to you doesn't mean she was fit to raise a child or able to have a loving heart. I know my mom truly disliked me and tried to stick to me from the grave. That was the last time I ever allowed her or the rest of my family to get to me. I've moved away from my family and rarely think about them. Oh, yeah. Ever have a sister call the cops on you for "Harassment" because she was mad at you and you called her on the phone to try to find out why? You haven't LIVED until THAT happens...lol. At some point in time, ya realize they aren't worth your angst. (((Hugs)))--i do understand and I thought *I* was the only one who used to pray I was adopted and would find my bio. family who really loved me...lol. See? You're not alone.
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{{Marcie}}} I am sorry that you're feeling this way. I think no matter how hard any of us try to not allow these mean people hurt us with their evil words, it sometimes manages to creep into our hearts and minds and wreak havoc. It's okay to acknowledge the pain and the hurt this has caused you. And then, you let it go.

    Embrace the goodness and the loving people that ARE in your life and who DO appreciate how far you've come and what a lovely woman you've grown into.

    We all have a past and there's no getting away from it, we know it's there and we can admit that it wasn't always rosy, but to be reminded of every stupid thing you did as a teen, well, that's just mean and not necessary. Your mom is toxic and you have to build a padded wall of protection for yourself away from her.

    My sister is the toxic one in my life. I've fanagled a way with myself to deal with her on a very limited basis and only when necessary. That means that I forego certain family occasions at times and it means that I have to have my guard up at times. It's okay really because I know that there is another side to my life. It is the side of my life that is truly MINE. It is filled with the love of my H, my kids, my friends in person and my friends here, who truly understand.

    Marcie, protect yourself, do something nice for yourself and embrace the goodness in your life. Allow yourself to feel the love and TLC from those you REALLY know who you are and what you stand for and how you choose to live your life. You are a good person.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry your mother is such a cruel person, and that the family believes her lies. We love you, and we won't believe any such nonsense about you!!!!


  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    (I love your new Avatar birdy) tweet!

    When you left your home as a (what you call) difficult child. Think back a moment. Did you set out to "show" your family that you would (do whatever) or did you set out to "show" yourself what you COULD do?

    If you set out with the idea of "I'll show you." they weren't looking when you left and they aren't looking now.

    If you set out with the idea of "I'll show ME" you've shown everyone around you that cares, that you are, always have been, and will continue to be an outstanding Person, Wife, mother, friend who is a hard worker, has bought her own house, raised a family and never asked anyone for a nickel.

    The people who you think matter - sometimes shouldn't. They are as vacant and distant as strangers.

    The people who you need to know matter - always do. Even if they don't act like they appreciate you on certain occasions.

    Your Mother's comment about loosing the last person in her family - was MEANT to hurt you, and it did. You reacted, you said something - you were 13 again jumping up and down going "Hey what about ME? what about ME? I'm here, I'm alive. Don't I count for anything."

    And even now - the sad truth is - Stella is right - you WERE adopted.

    Adopted by a family and friends that are SO delighted to know you - a group of us here 'count' and well lady we just happen to think you are something spectacular -

    So you go ask yourself - after 45 years - is it worth it to keep re-harming yourself? I don't think so -

    I'm most sorry for your Mother. I'm sorry for her because right in front of her is a daughter that would just give anything to hear one single nice thing or accolade and she's so miserable and enmeshed in her own misery - she's lost more than anyone. Even more than you - at least you can see whom she's lost the ability to praise.

    the cycle stopped with you marcie - THAT in hindsight is worth more praise than a dysfunctional Mom could ever give - your kids will NEVER feel like you do. To me - it's about the improvements you've made on your life and the lives of your children.

    there's always going to be teenager in you hoping for an inkling of approval - but you probably aren't going to get it from a Mother who did nothing to stop the cycle herself -

    Many hugs friend - I for one am VERY glad I got a a chance to know you - I don't think you are 1 in a million - I think you ARE the only one of you there is.

  10. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Thanks for the kind words and cyber hugs - you have no idea what they mean to me right now.

    Its obviously going to be a rough couple of days - I can't stop weeping. I have been reading my brothers obit and guest book on line - he was obviously well loved and had a wonderful life and marriage and it did my heart good to know that. even though I was never a part of his life.

    Starbie, you gave me a smile with your comment about leaving to "show me". Truth be told, it was only sheer lack of impulse I left home, but that lack has been nothing but a blessing for me - it saved my life.

    I am going to give the phone calls to my mother a rest for a while till I am a little stronger to deal with her and the comments again. My boys and SO have been there with lots of hugs in the past few days - they have never seen me so distressed like this and I think it has been freaking them out a little.

    But thank you again for the support you all have given me. Time to start thinking about all of the good things in my life and put all the bad stuff away..

  11. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Just sending some hugs.

  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Marcie, I am sorry to hear of your brother's passing. That must really be bringing up a ton of emotions for you.

    Take some time for you and be good to yourself. Nobody can treat you as good as yourself!

  13. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Marcie, your family should be ashamed of itself. All of them. Your Mom, your late brother, his wife, whoever else there is. How they can't treasure you like we do is simply beyond me.

    Knowing that there is no chance for a reconciliation with your brother (on this earth anyway)...it is my guess is that you are experiencing your feelings loss for your brother...and your family... as a teenager, all over again. It is understandable and heartbreaking.

    I'm so sorry. I'm just sooooo sad and furious for you. Know your worth. And know how much you are loved.

  14. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Marcie, the "I have no one left" speech doesn't have anything to do with you(otherwise known as reality). It's all about her and the drama of being the grieving mother(I'm sure she is grieving) I have seen that some can make being the grieving mother,spouse,daughter can turn into a show. Who suffered more at the time of death of a loved one. The group will retell the stories of the grief stricken in hushed tones.

    I have had the benefit of being at the bedside of many deaths. How a person reacts is very individual and very culturally based. Your mom isn't in the least bit concerned with how her speech affects you but her intended audience.

    I'm sorry for your loss of a brother and the loss at a chance to reestablish a relationship with him. Unfortunately, when we make difficult child choices we sometimes have consequences that are far larger and longer than is necessary. He should have forgiven you by now but it wasn't for your lack of trying.

  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If you let the past hold you back, you will always be the 17 year old difficult child. But if you shake it off like shaking the dust off your feet, then you can take the credit for who you are now.

    Letting them turn you back into a difficult child is letting them win, it's letting them be proved right.

    Succeeding and being a better person - it's all for you, and your new family. They can take no credit. It's success in spite of them, not because.

    Surely someone was in the room hearing your mother say to you over the phone, "I have nobody left in my family now"? If they heard that and STILL cannot accept that this is hurtful, then you can feel justified in walking away. Do not wish them ill - do not think about them. Move on.

    I had a good relationship with my mother but she was still capable of appalling tactlessness sometimes. When I was pregnant with difficult child 3 she urged me to seriously consider a termination. "I never had that option; I wish I had," she told me.
    "I'm the youngest of the 8 of us, Mum. I'm the change of life baby. Does that mean you would have terminated ME?"
    She shut up, said of course she didn't mean me, then tried to change the subject.
    I then cried on the shoulder (over the phone) of my eldest sister. Some time later I got a very subdued phone call from my mother, apologising for her lack of tact and saying she hadn't meant to indicate any of her children were unwanted or unloved, just that having so many kids did complicate her life.

    It was only a year ago, ten years after my mother's death, that another sister was talking to me over the phone and realised I was still unaware of the family skeletons in the closet. "Go look at your birth certificate," she told me. "And your marriage certificate."
    On these pieces of paper are the birthdates of me and my siblings, as well as the marriage date and birthdates of my parents. I was never sure exactly how old my mother was. And I recall how they wanted no fuss over their 50th wedding anniversary; we'd only gotten away with a celebration for their 25th by having it as a surprise.
    I looked at the papers. My oldest sister was born five months after my parents married. Suddenly all the stories fell into place - no wedding dress ("because it was wartime, dear, plus my parents were too ill, we went from the registry straight to the hospital") and all the confusion over dates and ages.
    So my mother's comment about termination - she had not meant me, she had meant my oldest sister. Who was the one I cried to. How must she have felt? And yet, if I let on to her that I now know, she will be even more hurt.

    Even parents who love their kids, hurt them and do damage. All our lives, our parents were trying to undo the damage of their premarital sex, trying to live up to higher standards than everyone else to over-compensate. And boy, did it damage us! And my oldest sister - she has known all her life, in an era when it was just not done. No wonder her self-esteem has been rock-bottom!

    I love my family, but I have had to distance myself emotionally from the hurt that they have caused, even though I know they love me too.
    So if that is what I have to do to survive a family that loves me, how much more should you walk away from a family that disapproves?

    You are a strong person. You have had to be. Now go out and use it!