Hey, Cedar, or anyone interested in FOO (Family of Origin) issues. Cedar, WHY NOW???

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by SomewhereOutThere, May 17, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar, I'm going to ask for your insight (or anyone's) because I am really puzzled.

    I have been thinking a lot about my FOO, especially E. lately.


    Since I was fifty years old I put her to rest and have barely thought of her. Why is she prominant now? What triggered it? I was never this angry about how she had disowned me before this. Sad, yes. Angry, no. Now I'm reading a lot about others who have gone through this and it makes me angry and sad for all of them. I never really thought about it. It is always an act of meanness and the adult child is always a little puzzled as to what he/she did. Most parents excuse the stuff our parents don't excuse. I' n not even quite sure what she needed to excuse.

    I'm sure Thing 2's reading my stuff kicked it up because she claimed to have no interest in every speaking to me again, but was so obsessed with me that she had a need to know my deepest thoughts...then she called it lies. Which they aren't. All I could think about is what a fraud she is. She is thinking about me, when she says I don't matter to her anymore. What kind of lying to yourself is THAT? Stalking your ex-sister that you disowned? That started the ball reading to try to figure out how dysfunctional, sick families tick...

    And then I started to think about my Dad and how old he is and feeling sad and horrible and talking to him more, trying to get to know him more. He doesn't share if you don't ask him and I want to ask him about his childhood and I will (maybe today). I think about how he can't live that much longer, although I hope he does...he is my only link to family...the only one I could ever trust to be fair. Then what? Another will. That is traumatic. Thing 1 in charge because Dad, like E., believes he will be fair. But I don't trust him. I read about these horrible will wars. Now I want to read my mother's will. I can get a copy of it.

    Why do I want to read it ten years later? It is bound to only hurt me.

    Why am I thinking about my FOO now???

    I do think my dad's age and the inevitable and then the aftermath is scary to me. I was not a part of it last time. I know my dad will make sure I am this time. I want to honor him. I want to do a eulogy. It would be short, but I want to do one. I don't want to see Thing 1 or 2 for any reason. They make me feel like throwing up.Of course...I will have to see them, but my husband and kids will make me feel safer...but not completely safe. When I think of them now, I get the chills...like a revulsion...hard to explain. I won't look at them, but I'll still feel them.

    Why, after living eleven peaceful years in my pleasant small town with my loving husband and kids and pets and serenity, am I being triggered NOW? I am at a loss.

    Most of the time I am ok. But I am exploring more about the will and disowning thing. It smacks EVERYONE it happens to. I understand why people write memoirs. It is to heal themselves. No, I won't write one. I don't want to relive all that in so much detail. Nope. This is enough.

    But I have started one, although it will sit unfinished. It was just at the beginning, with my memory of Uncle Idiot in the bedroom alone with me telling me stories about the footsteps upstairs and scaring me...and it ended there. That alone was too hard. I could see his sneer.

    Anyhow...you are so good with words and insight. And I"m sure others are too.

    After all this time and so many years of peace, why has E. come back to haunt me with her disowning? It was so long ago.

    Why do I still have nightmares about her?

    Do you know that I had not seen her for so long before sh e died that I still see her the way she was when she as younger. Dark black hair. No wrinkles. Those dang pedal pushers and big legs that are the family curse...lol. Her angry voice. Her mocking voice.

    Thankfully Thing 1 and 2 do not get featured in my dreams so I know this is really about E.

    Thanks for considering responding and it's ok if you can't.

    Anyone is welcome.
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Our minds often hold things back until we are ready to deal with them. And part of being ready is having the right support network.
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Insane. That's a really good possibility. It started coming out when I began taking chances here and gaining a support system. I am sure that is part of it.

    I think that is sort of like...why think about something that you can't share with anybody other than a therapist you see maybe twice a month? If I want, I can vent here anytime.

    But it felt so good to have it in the background. I didn't really want to acknowledge how bad things were for me. I knew nobody in FOO believed it as E. kept it all between us and told many stories about me, I'm sure. And this is not something you can talk about with your co-workers or neighbors or even most friends...lol. It's like I"m grieving E's contempt for me NOW where as I didn't do it at the time. In fact, I attended her funeral, which is a joke. If asked, she probably would have asked Golden Child not to tell me she died and not to invite me there. LOL! I remember feeling next to nothing, good or bad, after the funeral (and during it), except anger when the rabbi talked about what a swell mother and grandmother she was...yeah. Right. Surprised she didn't come to life just long enough to sit up, point to me and yell, "You're STUPID!"

    Good insight. Thanks! :)
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    No. You are having a look at whether you believe her.

    As it is your right and your obligation to do. That is your mother. The end of her story is the beginning of a new phase in your life. You should have been able to join with your sibs and your father and have gained strength there for the journey to come.

    Your abuser prevented that, too.

    Poison in the Will.

    She probably relished knowing what would blow up on all of you ~ not just you, but your brother and your sister too, who had to trade integrity for a role even after the abuser was dead.

    So, yeah. Your mom did it on purpose, SWOT. But not solely to hurt you. You were the weapon she used to destroy your and your siblings relationships to one another and to your father, forever.

    Your father is a good man, a man of integrity. He has proven that already.

    Good. One less thing.

    Their names are not Thing 1 and Thing 2, SWOT. Their names are Victim 2 and Victim 3. And that the family cannot come together, even now, even after the abuser's venom is old news, is the abuser's ultimate victory.

    Our mothers were very ill, SWOT.

    But the time for their illnesses to define us is past because we say so. And we always had that power. That is the magic and the truth in the classic tale about the Wizard of Oz. We always had courage; we always were intelligent; we always had our hearts and our love and our strength. We were taught not to believe in those good things in ourselves. We need to journey through illusion, through the poppy field, to the Wizard. We need to recognize the Wizard for the shyster he intentionally is. Then, we need to figure out what to do about that. Nothing is as they taught us it was.

    Good. We will make our own ways.

    We are in the poppy field, now. But we have our courage, our intelligence, and our hearts there with us.

    And all the little Munchkins want us to succeed; and the Wicked witch is dead.


    I am sorry this happened to you, and to Thing 1 and Thing 2. You all should have found staunch allies in one another, should have found staunch allies who could bear loyal witness, strengthening yourselves and one another to go out into the world and create lives of cherishment and value. You, and we all do, need an inviolate core to help us define ourselves in the world.

    We, you and me and all our sibs and both our fathers, don't have those things, those good things, SWOT.

    So we have to create our own. Against the will of the abuser, dead and gone or still spinning poison elsewhere, we will create our lives as we will them to be ~ as we already have, in loving our own children and in choosing, again and again, to love, or to choose a another mate, who is committed to love, to the strength and integrity in it.

    Our abusers will have taught us we have no option but to choose someone who hates and will detest and confuse us, as she did, herself.

    Why doesn't matter.

    We need to stand up.

    Radical Acceptance.

    We have done harder things. We know now, how the story ended, for the abuser. We know now, who the abuser was in her heart. Why doesn't matter. Our sibs are not the enemy. There is no enemy. There is only the sadness of isolation where family should be.

    We have done harder things.


    There is a period of vulnerability that happens as repressed feelings are pulled up, in all their ugliness, and let go. That is what this is. It will pass in two to three days and when it does, there will be a new stability, a feeling of balance that feels strong and unfamiliar. The energy you were using to repress the old, meaningless energy that hurt you when you were just a little girl is yours, now. Here is the miracle: You lived a life, anyway. Without access to the strength, to that inviolate core, everyone else has, you survived. You did what you could, all you could, to assist others, to make the world a better place than it might have been.

    So, that makes you a hero, SWOT.

    Like the heroes in the Greek myths. You are out there right now battling the monster; soon, you will turn for home, triumphant.


    ISC is right. We will not give ourselves more than we can bear. If the feelings have come now, then you are strong enough to bear it and are ready to heal it. There is nothing you need to do. Given the way it feels to relive them now, imagine what it must have been to live through it when you were just a little girl, or a beautiful adolescent filled with potential, or a young mother who needed her own mother.

    I think you are doing so well, SWOT.

    We are further along than just to need to know that these things happened. It took enormous courage just to admit it; more courage than most people have, maybe. We are doing this by choice and for our own sakes. They say people will live with almost any inconvenience, because we hate change and because change is difficult. We are calling change; we are actively seeking and confronting traumatic events. There is no hurry, SWOT. There is nothing you need to do. We are meant to be healthy and whole. You are already more balanced, stronger, steadier, than you were. This part is just where you have the feelings you did not know how to incorporate, then. They are very bad feelings. It feels terrible to be treated the way people who are not entirely sane treat their children. It puts us at a further disadvantage, and it is a heavy thing to carry around, however strong we are.

    I can never figure out why. So, I had to let "why" go. I had to just let it go. It is what it is.


    Read something beautiful, play beautiful music. Think about the Leonard Cohen Halleluiah...there are others who have been here before us, SWOT.

    They came through it, and we will, too.

    D H says: Toxic is toxic. Don't open the lid. I agree with him that it seems never- ending. I don't know why I keep going back either, except that I am not going to live like this because of someone else's meanness or stupidity or downright wickedness. That is why I danced all over about what the win could possibly be for people who abuse. This is what I know:

    1) There will be a pattern of this exact kind of abuse in the lives of every abuser. What they did to us, they do to everyone, replaying their abusive pasts, forever trying to get their needs for grandiosity or safety met by hurting someone defenseless or by hurting some unsuspecting someone before they can leave them. Look for it. Whether the betrayer is a parent, a sister or brother, or a friend (or a therapist) the pattern of abuse, the basic precepts they employ to reflect the reality they need validated (at your expense) will be the same. Only the victims change. You were, and I was too, caught in an abuser's reality. This leaves us vulnerable, all of our lives, to other abusers using the same modus operandi.

    Step out of the trap.

    There is another quote that I like, about being caught, like a fish in a net.

    We are not to wail and bemoan our fate at having been caught in someone else's net. We are to find the hole in it, the escape clause.

    When we are the ones being abused, it feels that we have done wrong, that we have been targeted, that there is some rhyme or reason to the things that happened, to how it all came together. There is no rhyme or reason, SWOT. Search out the patterns in your abuser's life (or in your abusers' lives, if they function as a pack) and you will be free.

    It was nothing personal to you.

    Abusers abuse because they abuse.

    Radical acceptance. A bedrock understanding that what happened should not have happened, not to anyone.

    Get out of jail free. Gold plated get out of jail free card.


    You are courageous and generous and strong. You are coming through this beautifully. If it were easy, if your abusers had been easy on you, you would not have believed them in the first place. They hurt their belief systems into you.

    Why doesn't matter.

    It is all in how what happened taught us to think about ourselves, SWOT. We don't have to do what they say. We don't have to be who they say we are. We never have to believe them or believe in them again. Your mom was not a good mom. She was not altogether bad, or you would not have survived your childhood. She loved you the best the evil in her would let her. Could be she was a messed up person who, like my own mom maybe, picked hate because it feels stronger than the strength in vulnerability that real love, real trust, requires. And maybe that worked for her, but it was devastating for each of her children. Your brother and sister are not exactly Thing 1 and Thing 2, SWOT. Steeped in poison and betrayal themselves, they have been trained, like you have and like I have too, to hate themselves and their siblings. In the abuser's lair, all things serve the abuser. Not a one of you came out of it healthy and trusting and whole because your abuser (and mine, too) saw to it that did not happen. Betrayal is the order of the day because that is how the abuser keeps control.

    Divide and conquer. If that division can be an internal division, if it can be a desertion of self or can grow into hatred for the self? Even better. If we can be broken, we can be ridden, can be enslaved to the abuser's dysfunction.

    So, you can go back, and you can see, and you can witness for yourself. It isn't going to change that these things happened. But what going back and witnessing for that mistreated little girl will do is allow you to love her, to hold her and mother her and teach her compassion and cherishing for herself. That is how we do this: cherish ourselves through the poison. Expect the bad feelings. Be very gentle with yourself; bring yourself positive things like beautiful music. You are hard at work doing an impossible thing and you are doing it.

    There was never an abuser in the world, not in all of time, who said: "Ooops. Did that hurt you? Sorry." No. They abuse us, they target and hurt and destroy us if they can and then, they seal what they have created ~ a broken doll of a child ~ in contempt, so we can never access it, can never be whole and healthy and strong enough to defy them or anyone else, ever again.

    I think you are doing great. If you need a time away from it, SWOT, take a little break. I think you don't need a time away. I think you are doing just fine and that is a scary thing. You have been warned, all of your life, to be the role, not the real you.

    It's scary.

    We don't know what to do with ourselves, how to behave or what to think. So, just don't do anything.

    This is all something to be done on your timetable. You have all the time you need. This is meant to happen, this healing. There is no reason to rush or delay. Every day will be sufficient unto itself, so they say. Something about the tasks of every day being sufficient unto themselves. Cherish yourself through it.

    Brene Brown quotes Theodore Roosevelt in the beginning of her book, Daring Greatly. If you google it, you will find it, and we are so fortunate in that. The quote revolves around the idea that there are some of us who step into the arena. Who fall and get up and fall again, bleeding and roaring and crying and standing straight up the whole time. The others...the others are only the audience, are only the watchers, the witnesses to our courage and daring and pain. And at the end of the day, they will go home, unchanged.

    We are the victors; we will walk away upright and in full possession of the things we claimed for our own.

    That is the essential click that has to happen, for us. We think we are our abuser's audience. We think we are dependent on our abusers for definition and maybe, for the right to be alive at all. The true thing beneath it all is that they are the audience...and for heaven's sake, they couldn't even get that right. A mother mirrors positive grandiosity to her infant. Ours mirrored negative grandiosity.

    They could not even do that right and they hurt our sibs, too.

    And they destroyed, from the grave, sometimes, our abilities to ever depend on or draw strength from or support them, our own people with whom we were little girls or little boys, ever again.

    All so the abuser could keep us trapped; could keep us isolated, could keep us betrayed and separate and weak.

    That is what they fight us so hard for. Everyone in a dysfunctional family is trying so hard to be real. We have all been our roles for so long that we feel exposed, without them. Like animals in cages too small, we keep going back and trying to stuff ourselves into the cages. But we were never meant to be caged.

    Bye, mom.


    Here is the final thing: Our mothers had a choice, too. They are not made of what we are made of, and they lost or gave in or dived in. When we were young we were vulnerable to them; we had no choice but to believe what they told us was true.

    Now, we feel disgusted by the pointless pain in the game they insisted on.

    Turns out it was a stupid game and they STILL cheated. That is what abusers do. Why let them continue to ride us, to draw the strength out of us? They were wrong. They destroyed our families that we should have access to, to this day.

    Roles and role playing, and they never stop.

    So, we do.



    SWOT? We are all right here for you. Right here.

    And you are here for me.

    And that is a living miracle.

    And so, we are stronger, enough.

    Bye, mom.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    No, on this I think she did it to hurt me. GoldenChild had no problem believing I abused E. and deserved to be cut out of will. He experienced no angst at all. You'll have to trust me on this one. Now E. never did want me and Thing 2 to be close so maybe she wanted to ensure it never happened. And it never will. And she was always the elephant in the room, at least to me. Here my sister would act like she cared about me, yet during E's life not once did she maybe say, "She is my sister. Stop badmouthing her to me. I love her." Not once. So what was my role in her life? To be there when E. wasn't or couldn't relate to her problems, I guess. Also, my parents were long divorced by then. She already had caused a "it's his fault" mindset in all three of us, so that even though I believe T1 and 2 both love him, it is not with the same intensity as E. and that they DO think he was the bad guy in the marriage. I saw it that way too. E. had such a big personality...she got people to see her point of view. And, of course, because my father was afraid of her mouth, he did n Occupational Therapist (OT) defy her by insisting we meet HIS side of the family. So I missed out on what may have been a real family. His family is somewhat dysfunctional too, but not the way E's was. They did not divide the siblings or play favorites. I missed out by being kept away and, later, by believing E's stories about how horrible and "stupid" they were. I don't think she used the word stupid...lol. But she certainly told me stories about how my dad's father kicked her out of the house, etc. If he did, I'm sure he has a side of that story...lol. She probably opened up her ugly mouth and "spoke her mind" as she called it...I don't believe anything she ever told me anymore. I am not deluded. I know the real E...well, at least the dark side of her. She has another side. I don't like to diagnose. I am sure though that she had borderline traits. Black/white/all good/all bad/splitting/bad relationships/temper eruptions/need for admiration/etc.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Which caused their children to have problems as well. Yes.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You know, this is advice I give to others yet I can't seem to do it myself. You're right. I"ll never know why. Time to let "why" go. She was the lesser loved child so she needed a lesser loved child to take it out on and that was me. And it double hurt her, I guess, that I was her mother's favorite. I know I was. She told me all the time. Being dysfunctional herself, it did not cross my grandmother's mind NOT to tell me that the only one she loved more than me was her son.

    That, of course, set up bad dynamics between my mother, who wanted her mother to take HER side, and me, the one whose side she always took.

    I guess this is part of why, but, as you said, it doesn't matter. I was a kid. I didn't cause these dynamics. E. needed help. She never got any.

    "It is what it is." Back to the rest of your post. You can always clarify things so well. Yet here I am still doing "why"...lol. (facepalm)
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Remember, in the Wizard of Oz, when the Wicked Witch sends the goblins to re-cage Dorothy into someone she could bully?

    The witch, sending her goblins out to frighten and hurt and destroy us, even today...those are our mothers' goblins SWOT ~ those things that are so ugly in our pasts. And goblins seem very real, until the rain falls and they die with the witch.

    Here is a thing to think about. There are goblins watching over Paris. Gargoyles and goblins, carved of stone. I saw it in a movie.


  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A very sad legacy.
    You're right. They aren't bad or evil. They are doing the best they can, just like I am, and because of our family all of us have not always known how to be good to us or to make good decisions. I actually feel sorry for Thing 1. He started out being a really nice kid who was teased and bullied in school for being sick and overly coddled by E. all her life. He has needed, as all three of us do, to be at least liked or admired and has done so in his work with his students. I think he probably tries overly hard because that is his family; his support system. I'm glad about that for him. Although I don't trust him, because I don't trust anyone in my FOO, I do feel for him as I know he suffered in his way and was so tied to E. that whatever she said, obviously he'd believe her version. I also messed up once with him, but in a normal family one mess up would be forgotten. I mean, at the time, everyone in my FOO was screaming at me and I was not exactly at my best. Is ANYONE at his or her best when being screamed at by entire family? Would 1 and 2 have been? No, not at all. I have seen 2 in meltdowns over useless lovers. Certainly she would not have done well if a parent had done to her what was being done to me at the time.

    2 is not 100% bad. She is very literal and will, say, read about about how men act and then believe every word, as if there is no variation. She will read a book about relationships and believe 100% that because she felt our dad was emotionally not there (and he wasn't when we were little) that this is why she picks bad men to love. But she forgets there are always exceptions to all supposed steadfast rule. I am his child too and I picked a good man the second time. I feel badly that she can not detach herself from a man who treats her as badly as if he is beating her up every day and she goes back for more.

    But both are still no longer in my life. I call them Thing 1 and Thing 2 in place of Stranger 1 and Stranger 2.

    I am glad to be going through this reflective period now. I am reading a lot of Tara Braham (I always forget her last name), but her books are so enlightening. She is affecting the way I see these truths...blurring the edges so they are not as sharp. Surely, you must read her too?

    Thank you for answering. In a way, you are like a best friend that I just never met. :)
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I see more than ever now that I am dealing with this NOW because I wasn't prepared to do it before, and still function. Interesting how the mind works. I am functioning very well, thank you, and now is the time to inspect it in order to dismiss it.
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  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The mother I knew, who was right about me being a loser, was never right or never real. She had hate in her heart, at least toward me. Whatever the reason, I will never know for sure. But the mother I wanted her to be was never there.

    "When I first held you in my arms as a baby, I felt nothing."

    And that is the real mother that I had.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Heh. I like the video's analogy of our mother's.
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    No one dared confront my mother, either. Not even when the person whose reputation she was destroying by naming him filthy names was our own father.

    Not even then.

    Once he began going deaf? She berated him the second his back was turned. Right in front of his children. Do you stand up to her? Do you make the father aware of what she is doing right in front of his children? I didn't. I loved him separately from her, and I made the best I could of things as they were. After my father was dead, my mother refused to have a Service for him. He was a veteran, and entitled to the 21 gun salute. He was my father, and entitled to every honor, to every grief, public and private, I felt at the loss of him in my life and in my heart and in all they things we would never say to one another.

    And she refused. And she was vehement. And D H stepped in and she said: "If you want your name in the paper, pay for it yourself." And she was sitting at our table, eating our food against my D H's will because of how the death had been handled thus far. But he had her there in our home, for my sake.

    And when the decision was made to run an obituary in defiance of her wishes, my mother's fallback position was that she was afraid an old enemy would come to her house and hurt her, if he knew she lived there alone.

    And that was a lie, too. But she was newly widowed, and alone, and we deferred to her wishes.

    And so, my father never even had an obituary, let alone a 21 gun salute.

    I may still create a memorial for him. But I am not talking to either sib. Or to the enemy sib. I mean, I am talking to him, but not really. I am thinking what to do about that. I will post about it here, when I do. Given the similarities in the stories of all abusive families, what I do will help another of us to be stronger enough, too.

    There are no heroes, here.

    Only my mother is a hero, in our family.


    Love has always been the enemy. Diametrically opposed to the hatred abusers fuel their stupid realities with, it can make us stronger enough. And so they do everything in their power to kill it, and to kill us. Somehow, unless I can see through a good way, for the potential in all of us to change if nothing else, I am blind.

    I am fortunate in that.

    Hatred is addictive. There is a strength, a strong flow, in hatred and rage and resentment. Like all addictive substances, these things will destroy us in the end, as they destroyed our weaker-than-us mothers.

    It's scary, to go back there.

    But here we both are.



    One of the things I worked through on that thread that is gone was how I really felt about my sister, about my sister and my mother, and about my brother. What I named what I found ~ bitter, acidic stuff ~ is resentment. I resent what they have, and I do not. I feel excluded. Named and found wanting, judged and found wanting, ridiculed and found wanting. Exiled, like patriarchs were always exiling the woman and the child in the Bible.

    Or putting children in the fiery furnace and turning up the heat, united in their stand against the usurper, against the one who doesn't belong because there is only so much room, only so much acceptance...only one mother. And she will cut you up as soon as look at you because she does not see you; she can see only herself. She is the Center of the Universe.

    But we are exploring the edges of this thing we were told was what was real. And there are stars and galaxies and mysteries galore out there.

    Well, what do you know.

    So, that is how we know what the mother told us was real is a lie.

    And, kind of like they did in the olden days too, we are named heretic.

    And you know what happened to them, back in the day.

    And you know who it was, who came up with that burning heretics at the stake idea.

    My mother.


    That was the joke.

    And here is the scary part:

    Or someone very like her.


    No. Her role was to function in your mother's scheme of hatred and isolation and mistrust. Like a spider's web, SWOT. Every piece of the thing created functions to entrap those the abuser intends to victimize.

    I am not excusing your sister, or mine. Or either of our brothers.

    But I do think we cannot declare an ending to the evil mother's pernicious influence until we take our courage in both hands and understand ~ until we really get it ~ just how toxic the environments we grew up in were and continue to be, for everyone caught in that web that our mothers chose and celebrated and glorified in.

    Ours is an ugly story.

    Radical acceptance. It is what it looks like. Fight, SWOT. Those feelings that are overwhelming us now are the mother's valence, are the mother's poisonous intent. That was the flavor, the taint in the very air we breathed, all of our lives. Our sibs are twisted, were twisted, by it too.

    That doesn't mean we have to like or excuse or forgive them. But it is crucially important that we understand the genesis and the purpose and the tools that were used, to hurt and to weaken us.

    Then, we can say: F you, mom. And after we say that enough, we can say: Mine is an ugly story. Ours is an ugly, story. I need the strength and the pleasure and the safe harbor of loving family and I don't have it. As surely as the abuse had nothing to do with us, so our healing has nothing to do with them. If they cannot save themselves, then we cannot save them, either. That is a thing I always believed with my whole heart. That we could save one another. But that is not true. I cannot rely on that. My mother is determined that none of us will have witnesses or support or the strength there is in family.

    So. I will need to rewrite my story. I will have Maya, and learn how she did it. and I will do it, too. D H is correct. I can open and explore those toxic beginnings that I somehow survived as many times as I have the courage to risk it.

    Toxic by intent. Ugly and unbelievable and scary as can be by intent. But turns out we were very brave little girls. In our secret hearts, we defied out mothers' intents.

    Bye, mom.


    But then, we will need to provide those things we need for ourselves. I haven't done that yet, so I don't know how to do it. I do know that I am vulnerable in certain ways, and that the vulnerability draws predators like freaking flies.

    That is something to know.

    So, I have to have a look at the feelings. Resentment. The only answer to jealousy, envy, resentment is to have those things I am jealous of. Jealousy can be a gift. It can show us the way to go, which wind to head into, to create what we need.

    Too bad that other thread is gone. I was figuring it out as it happened, to me. It was beautifully written; clear in a way this is not.

    My mother did the exact same thing both while my father was alive after my father was dead. And we were grieving that our father was never going to be there for us anymore.

    And she used that, too.

    But my father came to me in a dream. All he had was a paper bag, a brown paper bag. And he set sail in a battered old pontoon boat. And he turned around to where I was, standing on a shore somewhere and said: "She will need this." And there were four wooden spoons, SWOT, with beautiful painted porcelain handles, that were part of a salad set I have. (There are only two spoons in the real set, of course.)

    So I don't know what that meant.

    But it comforted me.

    And there are four children, in my family of origin.

    I always thought the "she" was my mother.

    It was me, of course.

    Thanks, Dad. You have faith in me. I will have faith in me too, then.

    Look further, SWOT. See the patterns in E's life. Her big personality was grandiosity reflected back onto her from the children whose spirits she broke.

    That might not be true.

    I did not know your mom.

    Except that she sounds so exactly much like mine I can hardly fathom it.

    So that's a validation, a kind of witnessing for me, too. There are times when I cannot believe that I think this way about someone I should love. I have been broken and raised to believe my thinking is typically not correct, that there is something flawed in me.

    Hello again, mom.

    You are looking a little sickly, a little less scary, these days.


    I have posted before about the passionate, vehement hatred my mother holds for my paternal family of origin. But she bears that same intense hatred for her own family of origin. She too insists people are "stupid". There is such contempt in the way she describes why they are all so stupid, or so degenerate, or so impossibly depraved that I am tempted to believe what I believed about them then to this day.

    I see you.

    I see you back.


    I have family out there somewhere too, SWOT. I should look them up. Or, create my own. Which I do, all around me, all the time.

    It is a really hard thing, to make that decision about whether our own mothers were liars.

    Which destroyed their children's abilities to believe in themselves. So there we were, SWOT, vulnerable in every way that mattered. And we lived our lives and we chose for the good and we did the best we knew and we learned new ways and we never turned into them and we never hated them.

    So, I would say we did an impossible hero's quest quite successfully.

    Hear the crowd roar as we enter the homestretch? Like American Pharaoh in yesterday's race: stay focused.

    There is another race yet to be run.

    Why doesn't matter. When it is time for us to go back, and to learn how to view our mothers with compassion, then why will matter. For now, when we are in the ring or running the track, why is extraneous to our purpose.

    For now, it is.

    Later, we will go back and learn and understand and have compassion for, our mothers.

    Right now we are not healed enough for that to be safe.

    For me that is true. Only you can know what is true for you.

    But for me, that is very true.

    I cannot afford compassion for my mother. Not yet.

    Because it matters. That is why we keep trying and trying to figure it out. But at least for me, I have to take it in small steps. When I uncover the real toxicities in my past, they still lay me low. I become confused; I lose my focus. I feel so...I cannot get to where I am. That is what it feels like. And when I hate that little girl, or that adolescent, or that young mother I was, as I was taught to, the lesson sealed in contempt, so scared and with my mother circling, like a freaking vulture, pieces of rotting flesh in her beak, then I have to stand for myself. I have to witness the feelings for myself. I have to believe myself, and hold myself with compassion. I have to convince myself that I lived, that I am here, witnessing for myself now and so, I was always there. Me, the person I am today after creating my own life, after believing and believing that we all want to be good people, strong people, people who support and strengthen. I was always there for her, SWOT, even when my mother kicked or threatened to burn or hurt those sibs I was supposed to protect and I couldn't stop her.

    And so I can tell that poor, broken young person who was me that it was the mother who lied.

    Ugly. So ugly, SWOT.

    But I know it can be done because we are doing it.

    On we go.

  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Change the imagery you believe is true. You are the fighter. SHE is the audience.

    What did you see, SWOT, when you saw your mother looking down at the perfectly formed daughter she was determined, with all her heart, to destroy. A brand new baby girl, still trailing clouds of glory, right? So, you weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of six pounds. And the courage you would come to need, and the passion for truth, and the compassion to heal and the honesty to be healed ~ all those things were there in that instant before she convinced you you were someone else, some tool to be twisted to reflect the false grandiosity she would come to thrive on, would suck out of you until you couldn't function the way you were designed to function in the world.

    What did you see, when they placed you in your mother's arms, SWOT?

    Did you see the fear in her face? Because I assure you that on some level, fear is what she felt.

  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That is us, SWOT. Our courage, our intelligence, our loving, compassionate hearts. But we were scared, SWOT. And we were right to be scared.

    But we did it. We fell all apart for awhile there, when those negatives from childhood creeped up on us from behind.

    But then, into the castle we went.

    For Dorothy.

  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As usual, your post was so profound and most of it rang so true.

    The only comment I have is that I know my mother hated me because she said so with the disinheritance. That is pure hate. It SAYS hate. There is no other reason for doing it. She knew how it would make me feel. My God, if her mother had disinherited her, I think she would have stabbed herself. She was not strong. She knew so I know. In a way it's a relief not to have to guess.

    Sometimes it makes sense. The child stole. The child was given tons of money. Another child was very needy and one is well off. None of these situations were true. She did it to tell me just how little I mattered to her.

    "When I was pregnant with you, I felt nothing for you."

    "When I held you in my arms as a baby, I felt nothing."

    This says it all.


    The topic emotionally drains me so I need to reboot right now :) But it is good for me to gain this understanding that I wouldn't allow myself to see before. In the end, it will allow me...and you too...to put this behind us.

    I am still standing with a loving family, E.
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    Mine, too. She is disinheriting me from whatever was left of the family.


    Haters are such nasty little turds.

    Nope. Bullies have no courage or they would not be bullies.

    So says Cedar from her position of "I know everything this morning again."


    Wow. Think what she missed, SWOT.

    I was so excited for my babies. It was like a really special secret, to be pregnant.

    Except at the end, when I couldn't even sleep on my stomach.

    And I looked all terrible.


    It tells us you were in a pile of trouble. That she lied about how she felt, I mean. Or that she told you such a shameful truth, if it was true.

    You must have been getting independent.

    My mother told us that if abortion had been legal....

    Too late, mom. I see you. I see you back.


    Stronger and stronger, every day.

    Eye of the Tiger, right?

    One more race.

  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm so so sorry. Even though you know this, be prepared for it to be very hurtful. I was never even notified about E's will. I kind of would like to read it and sometimes think of getting a copy and then most of the time I listen to my husband who says, "Why do you even care what she wrote? Please...forget about your family. If I'd had your family I'd have dumped them long ago."
    And he would have.

    I'm hoping she doesn't go through with it, however, if she does, you know. Then you know. And it can take, yes, ten years to suddenly hit you, maybe at a time when something triggers it.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cedar, yes. Very afraid. Afraid still. I am a coward. I don't want to see them again, even with my family around me. I'm hardly a hero. I just want to know that nothing will bring us in the same room again.

    They really hurt me. Why shouldn't they scare me? And you? You were hurt too. Makes sense to me.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Who isn't excited about having a baby? She was securely married. Not like she was a single mom with no support. And my grandmother helped her a lot. Here's another big lie. She was always telling me, "Grandma never babysat so I won't either."
    Guess what? Grandma babysat me all the time when she had her dance studio and was working. ALL THE TIME. She and my dad were also allowed to live in my grandmother and grandfather's little apartment when they were first married.

    My mother to me: "Once you leave, you can never come back. I couldn't so you can't."
    That is basically what she said. The problem is, she did go back.

    Does the lady lie? And Thing 1 and 2 believe her? I can't believe she never told them these things. They should ask my dad. He'd tell them that he lived with them after they were married.

    Is the Pope Catholic?

    There is something wrong with a mother who does not love a child she bears when it is placed in her hands.