Hate...what is it?

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by SomewhereOutThere, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Somebody asked me this question and I couldn't answer. Despise came to mind, but that's just a synonym.

    I'm not sure I really hate so it's hard to define it. Mostly, unless somebody wrongs my kids, I feel more sad and discouraged and angry, but not the effort it takes to hate. Doesn't mean I like or approve of anyone (not that it's my business to approve of anyone), but I know I couldn't kill anyone. If on a jury, I couldn't even vote for the death penalty. I'd have to beg off if it was a death penalty case because I couldn't do that. Not even to somebody who did something horrible.

    (Maybe that would change if it was somebody I loved deeply. Hard to know).

    I did not hate the boy we adopted who did so many unthinkable things for a child because HE was a child and had been abused. I didn't want to keep interacting with him, but the thought of "hate" didn't enter my mind. It was more "we can't do this...get him out of here. Let's start to heal." We did. It was one of many things that bonded our family and made us stronger, so it turned out to be a growing experience...what point would there have been in hating and not healing?

    So what is hate and is it ok to hate people?

    I hate non-people. I hate war, the Republican tea party (not the people, the organization), people who spit in public and bullies, but those are not individuals. They are groups.

    I don't hate my FOO. I have at times felt intense dislike which could be seen as hate, but it doesn't last forever. At times it has turned back to love. Lately...more apathy.

    So...again....what is hate? Is it a bad thing to hate a person unless they have seriously harmed a loved one?
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Serenity,

    Sometimes I say "I hate....(person's name)." And M shuts me down. He says I don't hate anybody; that I do not have hate in me. I think that is true. But sometimes when I feel frustrated about a life situation, where I feel shut down or cornered or blocked because I had to leave a relationship because I feel it is dangerous, I hate that. Or when I feel hurt by somebody...and know I need to let them go.

    That is when I use the word "hate" with respect to a person.

    Other than that I hate tripe, organ meats except for liver, calamari, tongue (but I used to eat it and love it as a child.) I may even hate mincemeat too.

    I think hate is not a big enough word to describe my feelings against genocide, the Syrian exodus, racism, torture and crimes against people generally. or the lack of heart for such crimes against humanity.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Copa, there is no word big enough for genocide, racism, torture and crimes against helpless people who did nothing to deserve it. There has to be something worse than hate for that.


    I can't think of any food I really hate because food that isn't good without trimmings can be good WITH trimmings.

    But I do hate the noise of a dentist drill (may be first on my list other than human atrocities), the fact that all the really good tasting food is bad for you, and any book or movie that ends but doesn't give you finality, leaving the reader/viewer guessing.

    The last is a pet peeve of mine. Endings that aren't.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Yes, Serenity. Evil is the word.
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    To me, true hatred has to do with jealousy turned pathologic. Jealousy in the sense that we are not enough, that something was taken (or left us), not because the relationship had changed or the time was over, we because we are not enough in some way that connects into everything in our lives. In that sense, hatred is an impersonal thing. It has nothing to do with the person hated, and everything to do with the person hating.

    It has to do with shame.

    It has to do with a kind of loneliness and hurt impossible to understand.

    I think that is true.

    I think that if we are truly hated (and it could be that our sisters do, not just resent, but hate us), we will never recover that relationship. I think it would not matter whether we hated back or loved back or were indifferent. Not to sound too dorky here, but I really do believe love comes first, comes as the default option. Hatred is hurt into someone.

    Shame has its place in the evolution of hatred and jealousy and anger. If we can't work through it, it festers into hatred, I think.

    No one wins, and I think love cannot touch it, when someone hates us. Or when we hate someone. I think I have not hated, yet. I have been shamed, and I am crazy angry over the shunning and the other things that have happened.

    Or maybe, I am hating all the time, and it feels normal to me. But I think there is a real difference between anger and the lust of vengeance and hatred.

    Maybe, for me, hatred is that lust of vengeance feeling. A feeling all mixed up with shame and loss and grief and guilt and fear and hurt.

    So, if it is, then I have hated.

  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think to hate means you do something mean and bad to somebody. It is not just jealousy. Or lack. You have to act in a cruel way. Not just feelings. Worse than no-contact. I say that because I feel guilt because maybe the reason my sister hates me is because I do not like her and have not for many, many years. She would never know that I do not like her except that I do not want to be around her.

    Sometimes I think it is my fault because she hates me. If I had been strong enough and good enough to want to be near her, maybe she would love me and not want to hurt me and not hate me.

    Except to have tried to love her into treating me better might have worked about as well as it worked for you two.

    I wish it were different. I wish I could see her. I wish I did not fear her.

    Never until she got so mad at me when she tried to put my mother away the first time, did I know she had such rage towards me. I thought she just did not like me very much. I thought she loved me, like I love her. After seeing and feeling her rage, it kind of clarifies all of the little mean things she has done for nearly all her life. She must have disliked me for a long, long time.

    What came first, the chicken or the egg?
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Some people feel rage when they don't get their own way. Is that hate? I think that's about THEM because they are not in control. And it is hard on those who must control. I have seen this all my life. Rage is often expressed as snubbing. However, it is also healthy sometimes to keep a distance. So that isn't always the case.

    As much trouble as I've had with FOO, except for my mother, I don't think they hated. I think my mother hated me for the $5000 and not giving it to one child instead of splitting it amongst all three. If she didn't hate me, she did acts that indicated she did. Maybe she was just raged out because she could not control me. I don't know."This is your punishment for not doing what I said!" Maybe she felt not getting involved with grandmother's $5000 was abuse of her (shrug). She certainly did not see that I was protecting my children. But then she never protected us. I suspect that, in later years, my siblings were more her nurturer than the other way around.I know my brother "mothered" her.

    I wonder how many mothers don't mother when we are young because of being so emotionally stunted or immature, but their golden children nurture THEM as they get older, and before they are old and frail.

    I think siblings have many things going one. One is an inability to recognize and accept mental illness, although I know they both have some as well as me. It is hereditary and I'm not the only one. I AM the only one who went for help. But I was open about it, as I am not ashamed, and so they can use it to try to hurt me. Is that hate? I don't hate them. I don't know if they hate me. I think it's more anger, again that there is no control of me.

    Certainly they try. You saw right here just how hard that attempt can get. But is that hate or just that insatiable "I need to win!" variable that they seem to have? I can't say. I am not sure.

    Copa, I forgot to mentiion that, although it's very nutritious, I hate spinach! I have to put cheese on it to get it down ;) Does that make me a Popeye hater? (gasp)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    What I think I see is that the sisters believe if it weren't for us, their mothers would have been the mothers they needed; their lives would have been perfect or at least, better, richer, fuller. They would have been loved, enough. That has to do with the pseudo mom role I am always posting about. Part of the pseudo mom role is to carry the resentment the sister feels and cannot acknowledge toward the dysfunctional real mother. The sisters' feelings for us are bound up in a sense of invisibility, in feelings of shame or less than having to do with their relationships to the real mother.

    One more time, like it always turns out to be, nothing to do with us. And worse still, nothing we can do to change any of this.

    Each of the sisters behaviors toward us are so similar. They say they love us, but they act like they hate us. They do things like Serenity's sister does, or they pray rings of thorns around us, or they shun us when we come home to see our mothers safely through their final illnesses. Because each of us are experiencing the same kinds of things with our sisters, this kind of thinking, this need to see us discredited, to climb on top of our discredited bones so they can see themselves, has to be a pattern in dysfunctional families. A far extreme of unresolved sibling rivalry. All the sibs are so lonely and damaged and hurt. The more time we spend together, the stronger the feelings of cognitive dissonance.

    Copa gave us that term.

    When we have left our families of origin, and each of us has, the relationships in the family of origin came back into balance ~ as is the pattern in our families ~ through disparaging the missing or ostracized (or cut off, or shunned) member.

    Our sisters are more lonely than we are.

    They don't have sisters, either. They do have the mother. I wonder which is worse. They may be more confused about why they think of us as they do, about why they cannot find satisfaction in the loss of their relationships to us, than we are.

    I don't know whether they love us. I think they do not. I think what they feel for us is a mixture of unresolved sibling rivalry (with a bullet) and adult jealousy having to do with the cultures of scarcity we all grew up in.

    Ours are dysfunctional families.

    If we can be vanished or discredited, then there will be fewer options for the mother. The mother will love the sister. The sister will feel valued.
    The sisters have not been able to see that the core problem is the mother's behaviors to all of her children, and to everyone in her life.

    When we have been out of the picture, the sisters may finally have felt seen, may finally have felt valued, in their relationships to their mothers. Given that the game, in my family at least, involves uniting against some disparaged other (my father, my grandmother, one brother or the other, one set of grands against the other) it seems to me that the sisters learned that joining with the mother was only possible through disparaging us.

    Or, through disparaging someone. Remember the story about the lady driver and the way she was treated by my mom, and by my sister's family. When I was told about it, my sister laughed and laughed about how they all stood there, rolling their eyes at one another behind the lady's back. Rolling their eyes at the lady's confusion, and embarrassment. Though the lady had stayed the night at my sister's home when she and my mother had arrived late into the evening in years past, this year, suddenly and unexpectedly, there was nowhere for her to stay once she brought my mom to my sister's house.

    The lady stayed at a motel, which was easily accomplished. The hurt of it was that she had not been told in advance that the rules had changed. She had not made preparation for herself and her safety. She had not researched motels or made reservations, and she did not know where she would have dinner.

    Or that she would be having her dinner alone.

    That is the feel of it. That is the difference between feeling honored or cherished or cared for, and the feeling tone of scarcity accomplished in a dysfunctional family.

    And I am sure the lady wondered whether she had offended on past visits; whether they believed her to have stolen something, maybe.

    But she hadn't.

    That is how we were sold into slavery, too. That family dynamic, that eye rolling ridicule, that us against them feeling ~ that is what we were enslaved to.

    That is what we carry.

    It never had one blessed thing to do with us.

    We don't like that eye rolling stuff. Boom. Out we go.

    Now, they are rolling their eyes at us. If there haven't been quite enough factual screw ups in our lives to justify their unifying against us through ridicule, they will go ahead and invent things and believe them and tell everyone whatever it is they have come to believe. It's like, if enough of us believe this is the truth, then, this is the truth.

    That's been why this has been so disorienting for us.

    We wonder too, just what is true.

    No one knows.

    So, we have to become our own best mothers. With the negative tapes the dysfunctional family has left roaring away in our heads. We have decided to work through those tapes, those nasty, shame based tapes, to figure out what it is that is true, about us.

    We are doing so well...but it is a sad and hurtful thing to see what it is that is true.

    That's okay, though. It is better to know. It doesn't mean we can't cherish our sisters in our thoughts. In their secret hearts ~ secret even from themselves maybe ~ of course they cherish us, too. If love is the default emotion, as Nietzsche claims, they do love us.

    They just don't know it.

    So, we will know it, for them.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    BINGO!!!! This is it, in a nutshell. They don't want to blame the mother for the f**d up family and the f^^d up adult children. They can't blame her. They want to think well of her. They want to think she was a reasonable, good person. They want to forget what she did. Now my brother was the golden child. It is possible he didn't see what mother did to the other two of us. Although he was sneaky. He used to read my diary and listen in on my conversations with friends and boyfriends. He continued to have isolation issues as I hit my teens and no longer had them. He lived vicariously through eavesdropping, at least on me. So you'd think he knew how mother treated me, but I'm not sure he did. His love for her is unshakable and she is saintly to him. She certainly treated him extra special.

    But she was a b*****h to my sister and caused my sister mental health issues, just like she did with me. She caused brother issues too, although I'm not sure that, as book smart as he is, he is aware of her part in it. My mother did not abuse him. She ignored my sister. Even as an infant, she ignored her.

    I believe strongly, and have spoken about it extensively in therapy with professionals, that I am the default person for our crazy family. It really began with our mother, who was the one who raised us as our father was not home often. He didn't help, but she was way worse and set the tone for divide and conquer, unpredictability and lack of rules, boundaries or nurturing. Somebody needed to be blamed for everything that went wrong in the family (shrug). I know it was my mother. They are lightyears behind me in understanding what happened. They haven't had as much outside help.

    I think all of us represent our mother by proxy to our sisters. They can't hate mothers so they hate us.

    May they go their own way and enjoy ;)
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    After all these months of hard work, we are learning that what we needed was to know what happened.

    I read this again, yesterday. It seems appropriate for us, as we come through.

    The reality is that you will grieve, forever. You will not "get over" the loss. You will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole, again. You will not be the same. Nor would you want to be.

    Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I endorse part of this. The part about believing my mother would have loved her enough, if I did not exist, I do not know.

    My sister more than once, dismissed my mother as a crazy old lady. While it very much offended me, I did not say one thing. I just stayed away from her more. It very much upset me that my sister always had her hand out to ask for and accept help of every sort form my mother, while privately dis-respecting her.

    It is all so confusing. My sister in a certain way idolized my mother. We both did: her beauty, her poise and confidence. Her presence. Her sense of entitlement. I mean, she dazzled us. She was stunning. Until you woke up and realized the truth of it all.

    I am not sure if my sister kept in the game because of the pay off she anticipated at the end, and what she could get along the way.

    My sister told me she loved my mother but felt my mother was abusive and disrespected her. She resented that my mother did not help her enough financially. What that would have meant, is that she turn over the bulk of her assets to my sister, well before she died. My sister felt she deserved that my mother pay for her children's education, help with mortgage payments, etc. She asked for my mother's Chanel Makeup, even though she had a profession and my mother, retired.

    I do not think my sister had illusions about my mother. But until then end, she did not seem to feel she could let go. Some of it was duty.

    I enjoyed my mother. I do not think my sister did as much. My sister knew her better. Their relationship allowed for the gamut of feelings of the both of them. Mine with my mother was more circumspect. We talked about things we could both handle. We largely kept away from topics and situations that would stress us. That is what I fault myself for, now. I kept away from situations that would make my mother want or need to turn on me. I kept it light. I stayed away. I called instead. I did not feel I had to make cumbersome visits, to stay in a hotel instead of in her home. After she would yell at me, I would not automatically ask for more. I feel guilty I let years go by.
    See, my sister acknowledges resentments toward my mother. They would have knock down drag out fights. Once my sister ordered my mother out of her house in the night and would not let her back in to call a cab. It was a dark and wooded area. Nothing around. My mother had no car with her. That was the level of their discord. Each of them blamed the other. My Mother always felt mistreated by my sister. My sister felt the same.

    In our case, I think my mother believed my sister's resentment towards me was because I rejected her. She intimated that my sister felt I had the better life, had more, was stronger, more talented, prettier--true or not. That it was envy and inferiority on my sister's part. But more than envy--my sister felt rejected. My mother urged me many times to extend a hand to my sister. I was always afraid. That was how my mother thought about things.

    I think there was anger too that I was out of the picture, and my sister had more responsibility for my mother. More access, but more responsibility. I think she resented it. I think all the way around my sister felt she got the bad deal. That is why, I guess, she needed all those things, and money and favors and access to make up for it.
    All of this is true, with respect to my sister. To see me as nothing, and she as everything, while knowing deep inside her she feels less than, her mother may share that belief, as well, and that her sister, me, was largely indifferent my whole adult life.

    Imagine what that would be like, to compare yourself to somebody, to be trapped in that type of relationship, and that person, me, is indifferent. I mean, no matter how much she tried to hurt me, I never reacted. I was affected and confused, and disliked the way she acted and lived her life. But I did not care.

    She could feel she had more. But she could never feel that anything she did or thought made me feel less in myself.

    I am perplexed about her. She is not a mean person, but she does the meanest things.

    I am thinking my sister does not fit the mold. I wish she did, so I could understand, too.
    Yes. Lonely in a crowd. She has friends. More activities. Much more. She looks for different things in people.

    I wish I understood.

    There has been no camaraderie between us at all in our lives that I can remember. Like we have gone through the same thing, and survived together. Nothing. It is as if one of us was a Nazi collaborator and the other, a concentration camp survivor who was singled out to be humiliated and to go without.
    Yes. I like this, Cedar.
    Not my sister about my Mother.

    It is me that always wanted to give my mother respect and to have a civil and loving and caring relationship. I succeeded, from afar. I was the one who needed to see my mother as a reasonable and good person, if I was actively in contact with her. If I could not have that kind of relationship, I would not see her or speak to her.

    I was never disrespectful. There was a time as a young woman I was livid. As a mature person, I never spoke disrespectfully to her or to others about her.

    My sister and mother were down and dirty. Until my sister dropped her at the end. I wonder what my mother thought about that. The why. I know she was sad. And mad. And surprised. But I wonder, really, what she made of her life with my sister, at the end. She loved her, still. She had regret for her limits. She was sorry. But I wonder how she made sense that after a lifetime's relationship, she was dropped.

    My mother dropped her boyfriend, too, at the end. He had gotten mad at M and I and called M a "dirty Mexican" on the phone. I told her. She was in the hospital. After 20 years she dropped him. She never called or said one word. He was 92. I guess my sister and mother were cut from the same cloth.
    I think my sister hates me because she thinks I got more of everything *true or not. And no matter what she does in life, she cannot catch up. That is what I think. Like life is a race for more--of stuff--of things--and no matter how much she gets them...it does not touch the lack in her. And she keeps on thinking it is because I have what she wants.

    Except, now I think she thinks she has won. And I am not sure what has changed.

    I am wondering if I am making myself live imprisoned in the house and bed, with all of these new illnesses to protect my sister's illusion that she has won. I mean, it may not be to get my mother to come back, after all. It may be to fold, so that my sister can win.
    Except, I am still confused. I agree that we were the beloved. What I cannot get behind is that my sister's relationship with my mother was conflictual And my sister expressed her disrespect of my mother. I do not think my sister had illusions about my mother.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Opposite here. My mother did not love me like a mother loves a child and I desperately wanted her to so id become hurt and feel like the names I was labeled. I also dared to call her out on things. I was not beloved by anyone in foo except grandmother.

    I really think my sister needs to forget how awful our mother was so she blames me, a child, for her horrible upbringing, which is ridiculous. And then she continued getting back at me, over and over again. It worked. It hurt. Oh, well. It's over.

    I needed my mother's love. We all do. But my sister wanted and needed it more than me. She has a stronger need to hang onto the little FOO we have, maybe because she is now single and more alone than me. She got much worse after her divorce, but "it" was always there.

    One thing she had to do eventually to keep mother's love was make it right with GC so she did. Again, I don't know how he could forget the way he treated her, but I guess she gave him some BS (she is good at acting normal, caring and doing it without meaning it) and he fell for it.

    Whatever. Our families were very different. You have come to see the good in your mother and the flaws in your sister. I wish I could name the good in my mother. I never saw it. I'm sure good traits would be named by GC and sister, but they would be foreign to me. I've learned to see why I need to disown my FOO, dead and alive, except for my grandmother and my father. I have enough love from my family of choice. I don't like drama at all.

    I read a hilarious article once and don't know if it's true or not, but a question was asked: "Would you rather spend the holidays with your family or friends?" Overwhelmingly, "friends" won. I had not been no contact then, but I knew what my foo was and the question and commentary after it made me laugh and laugh.

    We aren't the only ones. It is not rare for families to stay together during the holidays just because "we are blood" or "we are related by adoption." But that doesn't mean a good time is had by all.

    Ugh. We had the worst holidays. I can still hear my parents fighting, fighting, fighting.

    Yes, I would have preferred to be with my friends and after I moved out I never shared any holidays with them. I don't even know if there WERE any family holidays. If so, I wasn't invited (shrug). I preferred my husband's side of the family. My mother-in-law was the best mother I ever had. May she rest in peace with the other angels.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am trying to think Serenity, if I did what your sister did. See flaws in my sister, in order to have a relationship with my mother.

    I never deceived myself about my Mother. It was just that I never knew how much I loved her. I did not know how much.

    My mother did bad things to me, but they were out in the open. You could see what was happening. Nothing was hidden. And she could recover. And I could recover. After it was all over. With time. And I could learn what to do. What not to do.

    There were months and years when, if kept at a distance, she would not hurt me. I learned how to manage my relationship with my mother, so that I could have some relationship. My mother learned how to do it too. We both wanted to.

    It was only at the end when I took care of her that I got so badly hurt. For 35 years I had found a way to keep my pain at bay, either with no contact, or moving away selectively. When I cared for her as she was dying, all of the ways I had managed my pain were no longer there, when I needed them most.

    It is not that I do not admire my sister. I see her strengths. She has worked very hard on herself. She is strong and persistent. She perseveres. She is brave. She is a hard worker. She tries to be a good mother.

    With my sister there is no way to limit her hurting me. My sister attacks in surprise. With a smile. And then the blood is gushing out. And she is still smiling. You keep asking yourself, what happened? Was I really stabbed in the heart on purpose, or is that ketchup all over my sweater? And you keep wondering for years and decades. Did it really happen? If it did, why is she smiling, and putting the blame on me for getting ketchup all over.

    She does not seem motivated as was my mother, to temper any quality that she has in order to make a relationship work. She denies any responsibility for anything. She seems to feel I do not exist or have any human rights, and at the same time, as if I am this powerful person who has destroyed her. This justifies to her anything she does to me. Yet gives me not one right in the world at all. And no protection. She is very smart.
    I do not forget the things my mother did. I do not forget how self-centered she was. I do not forget how mean she could be. I do not forget she let her father die alone. I do not forget how I not she, went to my grandmother, who died with me when I was 28 years old.

    I think if my sister and I could share our experiences with the mother we share, our experience would be the same. Except that she could never feel a commonality with me because she believes anything I got I did not deserve. And even though I ceded the field to her for my whole adult life, I would know that she was right. Because my sister wanted and needed it all. What she got was never enough. I made peace with what I got. What I needed, I found, eventually.

    I am coming to accept that there is nothing that I can do. I am boxed in. My sister will always feel the need to punish me for existing. Even though I was born nearly 5 years before her. Like you with your sister, I am her scapegoat. But it was not to protect her relationship with her mother.

    Perhaps, it is because my role was to love her and to protect her. And, like my son, she believed that the love was unconditional. That she could treat me whatever way she wanted, and I would forever be there for her. When I was not, she became enraged. She was spurned.

    So at the end, my sister felt spurned by both her mother and her sister. And she saw it as treachery that had nothing at all to do with her. I do not think she felt loss. She felt rage. That must be why she would not talk to my mother or I, or see my mother. Somewhere inside her she must have felt there was no punishment too great for my mother to bear. It was revenge. But she did not place the blame or responsibility on my mother. She put it on me. Because that seems to have been my universal role. Like a universal remote. Why on me, and not my mother?
    I still do not get it.

    When she sent me an invitation to her second wedding, we had not spoken for 6 years or so. I did not respond. I guess that was very bad. I guess, if you do things like that people get mad at you.

    But how dumb. What did she think? Like I am going to fall into line, because she sends me a pretty card? Not a phone call. Not a letter. A card. I think it was just like all of the other times. She wanted me to show up. To be there. So the sister could be on display. It had nothing at all to do with me. I think I knew that. I would not comply.

    I am accepting that there really has not been anything there for 55 years. Just two little girls, afraid and alone. With nobody else at home.
  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think your sister blames you Copa, because to your sister...you are not Copa. You are pseudo mom. (I loved the imagery of the Universal remote. How true is that!?!)


    I think the sisters are conflicted about everything to do with us, Copa. Whether you responded or did not, whether you attended or did not, whether you sent a gift or did not, the situation that exists between ourselves and our sisters today would be the same. I think we did not create this. I think we cannot change it. We had done some reading earlier regarding the dysfunctional mother's determination to prevent the sibs' coming together. That plays its part here, but I think that for our sisters, the feelings rightly belonging to the abusive mother have been funneled instead onto pseudo mom. That, I think, is how the sisters resolve their rage and abandonment issues. By assigning us the forever role of despised, and despicable, pseudo mom. To me, your arrival as your mother entered her final illness shocked your sister into a state of cognitive dissonance having to do with mom / pseudo mom and that's why she stormed off.

    Nothing to do with you.

    How sad, for us.

    On the other hand, people who have never had sisters seem to do very well in the world. Probably, it is better not to have a sister than to have one who hates us.

    Like everything to do with our dysfunctional families, it just is what it is.

    And it is better to know.

    And out of those camps came Elie Wiesel, Etty Hilesum, Viktor Frankl. In part, they came through it intact because they were able to assign meaning to what they had lived, through their writing. As we are doing here, they were able to learn and to share something about what it is to be wonderfully human despite having been dehumanized.

    The Nazis, on the other hand, were discredited.


    I think the sisters were neither afraid in the way we were Copa, nor alone in the way we were. They did not grow up like we did, Copa and Serenity. They had us. For better or worse, they had an older sister. They do not carry the trust issues or the senses of isolation we do. They have not been shunned, nor have they been shunned in place, because they had us. Whatever the abusive mother was doing, there was always, for all of their lives, someone for them to turn to and to turn against, unifying them with the dysfunctional mother.

    What a circle (insert euphemism of choice).

    I am coming to believe that what the sisters do carry is angry, spiteful resentment. For them, we are pseudo mom for life. It is less that there has been nothing between our sisters and ourselves than it is that, hidden beneath a thin veneer of disrespectful entitlement, they have disparaged and resented and ridiculed us, have kept us firmly ensconced in the role of freaking pseudo mom, because it services their concepts of self and other to do so.

    Which sucks, a little.

    I think we cannot change those currents which have served our sisters so well.

    Nor, now that we get it, do we have to. There is nothing we have to do, and I think there is nothing we can do that we haven't already done. Our sisters will forever feel displaced by us, overshadowed by us, resentful of us. We are a role to them. If that wasn't working for them, they would behave differently.

    It must be working for them, then.

    As we come through this, those energies so long devoted to our families of origin will be our own.

    I feel a leveling grief about it. For a time, I felt devalued and alone and just kind of stupid. This morning, for once, I woke up thinking about something besides my mother or my sister or any of that.

    I will always be sad about it, probably. I am proud and happy for myself that I held that intention of family for all of us. I think there was nothing more I could have done. As we went through this portion of our healing here, I realized ~ pretty recently, actually ~ that sense of disrespectful entitlement my family of origin seems to feel for me has always been there. That is why they can shun, why they can tell themselves whatever they like and believe it.

    Isn't that something.

    It will be good to be free of them.

  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am f'inally getting it. As a pseudo mom, I am an introject into my sister's personality. She has used me functionally all of her life. She regulates her relationships with herself in the world by the way she thinks about me.

    That is why my Mother felt she felt envy or need or love for me (without taking into account the other side of the coin). There may be all of that. But there is also the need to use me as a tool, like the universal remote, the need to control me, or the need to surpass me, because what I am or am not is so intrinsic to her essence. And beneath everything there is rage and hatred because she is conjoined to somebody she both loves and hates.

    So, how is it that she is thriving now?

    Thank you, Cedar.

  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    To me Copa, part of the pseudo mom role is to carry every negativity in the sister's relationship to the mother. Every negativity. That includes jealousy over the mother's preference of us. The sisters have the luxury, as we do not, of believing that if we did not exist, the mother would have the perfect child in them (instead of in us). The mother would then be happy. She would never treat the sister badly. Mother would be perfect, and sister would be the perfect child. If we had not felt the need to protect, we may have elected to see them as they see us. A neat little package with no loose ends, enabling the sisters not only to blame us for the mother's behaviors, and for the unacceptable feelings they harbor about the mother because of her behaviors (not to mention their unacceptable feelings for us), but to escape the damning guilt, the sense of responsibility and the need to control we learned to feel as a result of the mother's behaviors.

    We blame ourselves, when the abusive mother is on the loose; we build toxic shame into our core identities, for the sake of protecting the mother from our senses of rage, for the sake of some illusory control and etc, at the dysfunctional mother's behaviors.

    So do our sisters blame us, and focus those feelings onto us too, Copa.

    Not themselves.

    They do not have that core of toxic shame.

    For our sisters Copa and Serenity, those horrific feelings were focused outward, onto us, instead of inward, into the creation of a toxically shamed core self. Already carrying the sister's unacceptable negative feelings toward the abusive mother, it may be that we were and are convenient receptacles for all negative feelings. That is the role we play in their lives. It works out pretty handily for them. They are perfect, in their internal realities, in a way we are not because in their minds we are the ones carrying responsibility for what happened to all of us. That is why they can lie with impunity to and about us. We have always functioned as the receptacle for their unpleasant feelings. They will do whatever it takes to keep that dynamic live and virulently glowing.

    I think there is nothing we can do about that.

    It services the sisters too well.

    Like the story about the starving, battered child in the dungeon at the center of the perfect town, the way they see us enables them to live in the light, to have self respect. To demand it of others, whereas we (I do) people please to beat the band. What is that family dinner I am always posting about if not people pleasing? How is it I do not have an internal belief system about me, for once?

    How is it you feel guilty because you were not there, and believe that may be fueling your sister's response to you now?

    That is the nature of our enslavement to the family of origin dynamic.

    Our mothers were very proud of us indeed. We are attractive; we are bright and well spoken; we have done very well for ourselves. We have come through every challenge in spite of our upbringings.

    And we're carrying the way our sisters feel about that for them, too.


  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    So, there was not necessarily idealization of the person, the mother, but the idea of it. When my sister would fight with and disparage my mother, who in the real world did not live up to the ideal, my sister would be responding with entitlement and control and rage that would leak through her defenses.

    See, this is what I am trying to understand: There is no way my sister believed she was living happily ever after with my mother in the magical forest with me out of the way.

    But what we are talking about here is a sort of magic or fantasy. My sister had a magical belief that everything had gone wrong because of me. Even if there was conflictual and unacceptable reality staring her in the face with my real mother, who my sister would treat badly, like she did almost everybody else...somewhere inside her she believed I was responsible. That my mother would love her the way she needed, if I had not wrecked everything. Even if she had not seen me for years. I was responsible. And had I not existed and wrecked everything, and withheld love and a magical power or piece from her (I am still confused about this)... and existed it would all have been good.

    It is like the Garden of Eden. I wrecked it. She was able to sustain this fantasy of good and plenty and perfection because I was there to siphon off the reality of all the bad. And then, at the end, whenever I existed in reality as a real person, and did not conform to her idea of my role and function....she wished me dead.

    I think, too, there was always the wish that I would exist in real life...the way I served her as an introject. At her service. Always there with love. To clean up messes. In her mind, that is my real role. Like I was as a little girl. A loving servant.

    Is the magical piece and power, the complete love of the mother or is it something in me that I have that she wants (my love, or some attribute, like a self)? With my self-esteem so battered recently I would like to believe I do have some thing she still covets. I mean, we have to get something out of the deal. Or is it a self?

    I am interested in how she is now. I mean how is she dealing with herself and her life. I am still attached to an outcome. I know the prize for us, is to understand and to separate. But I want a prize, too.

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think you carried that for her too. That is why she told you. She may believe you spoke those words, and not her.

    My sister seems to feel satisfaction in taking from the other sibs. I have posted before about the final issues that made it impossible for me to keep going along to get along. (Exclusion and mistreatment of the brother, and of his grands.)

    My sister also tells everyone she knows about her abusive childhood, and about her terrible mother. This included the new husband's extended family. Then, my mother was at my sister's for the winter months. She never stopped talking about my mother behind her back. My mother never stopped talking about my sister behind her back, even to sister's own husband and children.

    Isn't that something.

    Yes. Our sisters are very entitled little things. You both know already why I believe this is so.

    And not to you. That would have been more important than the money or the stuff.

    I sound rotten.


    We are coming through that I think, Copa.

    For our sisters...the years have not gone by. They still see us unchanged in value or purpose. The thing is, they can see us any way they want to.

    We are the ones who need to learn to see ourselves differently. We are making good, good progress.

    It doesn't feel very pretty. Ours are not pretty stories.

    That was not an accident.

    I'm sorry Copa, and I know you will disagree. But I think what your sister felt toward you was something much harsher than rejection.

    She does believe she got the bad deal. That, in my opinion, is because our sisters are required to be entitled to everything as proof of their higher value relative to the mom. When they are not given everything, they will try to get it by hook or by crook because if they don't get every last thing? Then the whole entitlement scheme might come tumbling down around their ears. Especially as relates to us.

    Because somewhere inside, our sisters know.

    But she could never feel anything she did or thought made me feel less than myself.

    Cognitive dissonance for the sister, to see you in person; to be in your presence. The persona she insists you are is how she can insist she is who she believes herself to be.

    Much easier to accomplish all that insistent self-creation if you are far, far away.

    Better, if you could be envisioned in a dungeon in the center of town where everyone could validate her truth ~ and yours ~ but Rio would probably be a good second choice.

    It must have been very hard for your sister to see you again, Copa.

    My sister is that way, too. Very easy for my sister to sell things, to elicit money and gifts. I think it has to do with that entitlement thing; always proving they are not the one who belongs in the dungeon.

    I know. I am being just ratty about my sister today.

    There is truth in this I think Copa, in the sense that if you re-establish the family dynamic relative to your sister instead of defiantly claiming the right to be free of her....

    If you protect her, again....

    I think your sister, like mine and like Serenity's too, have illusions about themselves having to do with their mothers, and with us.

    I know.

    Bad Cedar.

  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You are the prize, Copa.

    You, whole and complete and for the first time in your life, without guilt. With compassion for all of it.

    With compassion and respect for yourself, and for all you have come through, intact.


    I feel badly for all of us.

    But not that bad, now that I think about it.

    We are doing this.

  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This shows real pathology. The ability to fabricate out of whole cloth, not what was said, but even who said it. I know this is true. Is she ill or a little evil? I am not sure which.
    See. This is what I was struggling with. Your sister won the grand prize. The mother and the mother's things to herself. But then they disparage the prize. They still want it, even though it does not measure up, and they trash it.

    The only way I can understand it is that they have an idealized picture, a lost golden mother, who produced the golden child, themselves, which they sustain no matter what. The real mother always falls short, and can be safely disparaged and even rejected. Because they have the gold standard, safely ensconced in themselves. We are talking here about idolatry. They have fantastical images of themselves with the mother, as if the Virgin and the Infant. That is why my sister made of herself this matriarchal mother-type.

    The real mother can fall short but the idol-mother maintains. Especially if there is a pot of gold that she controls.

    So, again, I am confused. Is it never the real mother they want? Do they put up with the inconveniences of the real mother, for the stuff? Or is it show? The real life captured booty that is proof to themselves and to everybody else that they have won. I mean, is it just theater? My sister insisted she loved my mother.

    When I was flying back and forth to parts unknown, I was lovely and thin and confident. After I had been back here for awhile and working, little by little I put on weight and got worn out and gray. That was when she told me my hair was aging. She never commented upon my appearance when I was together. I am only now seeing what a trophy animal she had bagged when she could see me in some way relative to her, as diminished. Every time she said a mean thing she was bagging another trophy animal. Like Cecil, the Lion.

    If there was any reason to get up from bed, lose my weight and go out, it would be for this...that my sister not bag any more trophy's off of my carcass. I know I should get up and be in the world for myself. But right now, I would like to no longer be a set of horns and head on her wall. Or a fur at her feet. I would rather not be an easy kill. Especially in my own mind.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015