How much did you cry? And do you think they cried over you?


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My short answers are LOTS and LOTS.

My other short answer is I don't think they cared enough to cry. I think they laughed about it and that any cut offs were a punishment.

That's how you can tell if you were abused. Well, it's one way. If you cried, it hurt you. If they didn't cry, they didn't care and were not suffering.

Maybe that's why I have CPTSD and they don't.

What do you think?

by the way, what a bunch of wasted tears, but I cried every time my mother yelled at me or called me a name and every time my sister cut me off, except this last time. I strangely felt very calm the last time.


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I'm sorry your life has been the way it has. Your wonderful and I think you were calm because your done, you know its them, not you. You have heard enough from them. Its your time now! Many hugs and a shoulder for you to lean on Somewhere!!!

p.s... I cried lots too, do I think they would care bout me? Most, no. Still learning to accept this, well pretty much have. Im different, Im my own person and finding the one day new and improved me - with strength!


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I think my mother and sister cried for themselves.

You will be surprised, Serenity. Until my Mother was dying and after she died, I did not cry. I had saved up a lifetime of tears...Maybe that is why it has taken me two years to shed them.


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I'm not a crier. Even at funerals I rarley cry. If I do it is less than a few tears. The one time I really broke down and cried was when Tay moved out.

I don't really cry over my mother. In the beginning it was because I was doing so much to help her out mental health wise. I was too busy to cry. Now she irritates me with her whining more than makes me sad. I do occasionally miss that relationship.

On the other hand husband laughs at me all the time because I cry at commercials and tv shows. LOL, I don't count that though because it's not the normal time to be crying.

Scent of Cedar *

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I cried over my kids, back when I could not believe what was happening to us, and to them. Family of origin makes me feel very sad, but it is a sadness tinged with regret or frustration or anger. Or like, outraged confusion. I see their choices, and I don't understand why they do what they do. I don't understand the win in it for them. I've been researching that feeling of automaton, or numbing, in my memories of interacting with FOO.

I think I have been defended against them for a very long time.

I kept trying to change things, kept believing we could come together and be happy and so on.

I think the benefit of the FOO Chronicles is less about understanding them than it is about understanding how the differences between my family of origin and healthy families are affecting me today. It doesn't make me cry, to learn the why behind what is happening. It makes me sad, then mad; then it just becomes what it is. It was never me, it was them.

And I am so surprised about that, still.

There is nothing I need to do regarding improving family relationships because there is nothing I can do. They are making choices as surely as I am. They will always make the same kinds of choices. Once we see that, the hurt ~ I don't know. There is nothing to be hurt about.

If they weren't happy doing what they are doing, they would do something else.

There is nothing we have to do, about them.

I have been reading David Brooks' The Road to Character. It's an exploration of childhood preparation and of personal choice regarding right and wrong in adulthood.

It has been an interesting book for me to read at this time.

As we have explored the more traumatic aspects of our childhoods here together, I think I have been able to free energy once devoted to repressing feelings I was afraid to acknowledge because I didn't know what to do with them. Time will tell if this is true. I think this is true. Shame, really toxic, hurtful shame having to do with what the adults in my life believed the child I had been was capable of, or was entitled to, came to the forefront when my children were so troubled and I could not help us. Looking back, I am proud and amazed that I met those challenges with the strength and determination I did.

Family of origin saw my pain and confusion as vulnerability. They were wickedly unsupportive to downright destructive. I know that now, and I know how a supportive family would have behaved. When it was happening, I did not know those things. I believed my mother was correct, when I told her our daughter had been admitted to an Adolescent Crisis Center and she said that it looked like I hadn't been a good mother after all, had I.

That is why it is important for us to trace these things back.

If our families of origin have hurt us as children, they will hurt us as adults with whatever is at hand. Listening to them, believing them or believing in them, will weaken us.

When the kids are in trouble, we need to be strong and certain and affectionate. We cannot function as our best, strongest selves for our families we create when our families of origin sense vulnerability in our pain and confusion over our children and zero in on us. I would have been stronger and more centered in dealing with the chaos of what happened with my kids had I not seen my family of origin at all while I was questioning whether something in my parenting had sent my kids off on the paths they were on.

So, that is an important thing for all of us to remember.

No vulnerability to dysfunctional family of origin people, especially if they are our mothers. Or fathers, if father was the abuser. They will hurt us if they can, if there is an opening, a vulnerability in us.

I no longer feel shame at what happened to our family. I feel deeply sad that my children were not able to take advantage of the life path we might have opened for them, but I am not ashamed of them, or of myself. That is a blessing. Shame over what was happening to all of us should never have been part of what happened to all of us. Shame is not helpful.

We need to know that. We need to know how our dysfunctional families hurt us. We need to know why they did what they did. We need to get it that they would have done what they did to any child, to every child. And we need to ~ well, I don't know.

There isn't anything to do with them, really. It is what it is. Once we understand that our people we love are less than we wish, instead of understanding that what happened to us happened because we are less than they wished, then we can heal.

It's as simple as that. But it's really hard to get there.

We are doing it, and for anyone reading here, you can do it, too.

For those of us with very toxic families of origin, committing to see it and have it and to bringing ourselves out the other side of it will change everything about our lives, today.

I do not believe anyone in my family of origin cries over me. I make them uncomfortable, I suppose.



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Family of origin saw my pain and confusion as vulnerability.
That did not happen to me. Because I would not go near my sister or talk to her. My mother was supportive.

But now I suspect she talked to my sister behind my back. Because as her mind slipped she forgot it was me, and said something like "she does everything for him...and lets him get away with everything...." I asked M about it at the time and he said to forget it.

As I see it this minute, what happened to me when my son began to have a hard time, was that I fell back into the old FOO. I had already been distanced from them for many years. While I had a relationship with my mother it was warm but distant and careful and limited. I always knew my FOO was a vipers' nest. That is the difference between you, Cedar and Serenity. Both of you tried much longer than did I. Believed that you should or could make relationship with them. And because you could not, felt it to be your fault.

I felt everything was my fault. But it was from 50 or 60 years ago.

In my case, it was the brokenness that they had long ago caused me.
Once we understand that our people we love are less than we wish, instead of understanding that what happened to us happened because we are less than they wished, then we can heal.
I do not see it this way. I think they are less than we wished. I think they would have been happy with us...if we accepted them. Predatory.


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Cope, just woke up. Will check.

Good topic.

I was definitely the lesser than child. But my mother failed me badly in those early years and never acknowledged it so nuts to her.

She was no raving star herself and I suspect she was born with some of my challenges, but would never admit it.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
by the way, what a bunch of wasted tears, but I cried every time my mother yelled at me or called me a name and every time my sister cut me off, except this last time. I strangely felt very calm the last time.

When I was little (and I think that is why I don't cry today unless it has to do with my kids ~ and even then, I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I cried in front of them over something they were doing), to cry was to admit I'd been broken; was to admit to the abuser that she had won.

Crying was self pity, to me.

I cried for myself, when I cried, and I did not admire myself for that.

That is probably why my sister's tears can affect me so. I cannot imagine the pain I would have to feel to cry in front of someone. But then, I realized through posting here that my sister watches me while her eyes fill with tears.

Who does that.

People who are manipulating you with their crying, that's who.


But I still do feel badly, when I think about my sister crying.

I think the difference for me now is that I don't get stuck in protective mode, now. I want clarification about why she is crying.

That's the difference.


Maybe that is where that feeling of calmness you describe comes from, Serenity. We are not automatically stepping into the expected roles.

We are thinking about what is really happening when our families of origin expect us to behave in certain ways. Maybe that is the difference, now. We don't believe anymore that the shame in us is an authentic place to respond from.

But when we don't respond from a shame based role, communication stops between ourselves and our families of origin.

And we see there was never any real communication happening, at all.


It's disorienting. That is probably why researching the motivation beneath shaming and shunning fascinates me now. I am trying to figure out what real communication should look and feel like.

Or, what being a real person looks and feels like.

With those shame based cores we were hurt into falling apart, we have nothing to guide us in determining right from wrong thought or action.

For me right now, a kind of angry defiance seems to be the default position.

I hope I don't get stuck here.



Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
I think they would have been happy with us...if we accepted them.


Well, that's the thing, Copa.

Predatory value systems.

You are not your own; you are a thing I own. That is the feel of things, in my family of origin. When I am vulnerable, it is possible to disparage and destroy that thing I am that they own.

So, they are destroying that role I played, for them.

Once again, as it always does turn out to be in abusive situations, nothing in the world to do with the me I actually am.


When I have been hurt in some way that leaves me questioning myself (like when the kids were so troubled), that is when the dialogue in my family of origin regarding myself (and especially, D H) changed. It could be that we were carrying pride or success for the family of origin, and when the kids were not able or willing to follow the paths we all believed they would follow, that grace position was taken by my sister's family.

That could be, in a culture of scarcity family.

But I think their responses to what happened to the family D H and I had created was meaner than that.

Yes. I am certain it was meaner than that.

Isn't that something.

Probably there is no one answer to why things are as they are. I am losing interest in my family of origin. They are not frightening or fascinating to me in the way that they were, once. I don't have that same dinner imagery, anymore. There is still a table, in that imagery. There is still linen, but it is brilliant gold/yellow.

Before, it was snowy white.

The lights are off, in that room where the table is.

Very dusty, in there now.

Candles are burning, though.

White candles.

Sweet and innocent intent, then.

The crystal glassware seems to have been replaced with Tupperware.


What to hay.


Little kids use Tupperware glasses. Maybe those candles are burning for my sibs.

That would be a fine thing.


That would be me, to my sibs.

If I can do it, you can do it, too.

But since the lights are off, I must not be expecting them any time soon.

Still, this is a good intention to hold, for my sibs. An ethical one for me to hold for myself, too.


I don't need to worry that I am going to get stuck in anger and bitterness.


You are right, Serenity. We are coming through this well.

:hugs: :hugs: :hugs:

That's us.


Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
My mother was supportive.

I'm glad, Copa.

That is a pure blessing, and I am glad your mom was there for you.

I love her a little bit, for that.

I think you had posted to us that your mom was willing to participate in family therapy, Copa.

I love that about her, too.

I am sorry for your loss, Copa. I understand more now about your grief for her, and about how heavy that burden of lost time feels for you.

In my heart? I am lighting a candle for you, Copa.

Your mother would not want you to suffer Copa ~ she would not want for you to lose the time of your lifetime in suffering for her sake. Honor her yes, but not suffer for her sake. You know she loved you fiercely and protectively. We may both learn, over time, that our sisters relationships to our mothers affected our mothers relationships to us more than we knew.

"she does everything for him...and lets him get away with everything...."

Protectiveness for you, Copa.

I felt everything was my fault. But it was from 50 or 60 years ago.

In my case, it was the brokenness that they had long ago caused me.

Copa, if you are willing...what was the sister's influence. For her to have turned away from the mother (and from you) as she did, but then, to have tried to come between you at holidays (premiere family occasions) as she did...I don't know how this all fits together Copa, but the sister's influence was malignant.

She kept trying to cut you out, Copa.

She is still doing that to this day, with her meanness toward both you and M, and with her shunning behaviors.

Do you think this could be true, Copa?



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I think you had posted to us that your mom was willing to participate in family therapy, Copa.

I love that about her, too.
Actually, she had individual therapy for years, with the intention, she told my sister, making a better relationship with her daughters. I doubt if she would have participated in Family Therapy. My sister, either. I would have.
I am sorry for your loss, Copa. I understand more now about your grief for her, and about how heavy that burden of lost time feels for you.
Thank you, Cedar.

There is so much to say about this. But I do not have the energy to say it. Maybe soon.

The time is pressing upon me now. I am back to bed. But I understand tomorrow is 2 years. There is so much to do here in the house...and I cannot tolerate doing it. When we start, I feel M is imposing his will on me. So I fold. I go back to bed. Everything feels like he is imposing his will on me. Even when he is not.
In my heart? I am lighting a candle for you, Copa.
Thank you, Cedar.

I do not know what is going on with me. I really do not. I would hate it if this was the rest of my life. Just hate it.



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the sister's influence was malignant.

She kept trying to cut you out, Copa.
I have been thinking about this the past couple of days. Painful stuff.

Like learning that my mother gave my sister my grandfather's pocket watch. My mother's comment near the end that my sister always pressured her for stuff, was taking stuff, wanted stuff.

My mother never thought one time of how I would feel when she gave important stuff (like my grandfather's watch, or his work bench, that had been the store front counter where he and my grandmother had worked for years and years--even though she had promised it to me) would feel to me.

While my mother could be supportive and is hard to understand...she did not think about or care how her decision would affect somebody else, namely me.

The comment by my sister's 2nd mother in law (after I began to have contact again with my family) referring to my mother as "L's Mother" and then correcting herself..."Oh, I guess she is your mother, too."

I fault myself. Had I been stronger, had I been willing to accept more to grow more...been more tolerant...I could have had a full relationship with my Mother. But I do not see how I could have with my sister.

Why is she so vile to me? Does she see me as the hurtful one? Is all of this retribution for things she sees me to have done to her?

We can see why my sister saw me as forcing my mother to have made a choice between us to care for her, at the end. Because that was what she was doing for 50 years, vying to win over me. Why? She had my mother to herself all of those years...why did I need to be subordinated, even in absentia?

I want my sister to suffer for all that she has done. That is true. I want her to gain back all of her weight. I want her to be reviled in her highfalutin job. I want her to spend all of her money.

And the reality, is that I have gained weight. I am not working. I am spending money on useless things and losing it on stupid investments.

I am the one who is trapped in the past. I seem to have said, again, after a lifetime. I accept being the loser. I accept second best. I yield to you the field. Everything you wanted and needed. Take it all. And I do not know why.

I wanted to type a few lines ago. Let Mama just come back. I will give up my life. For Mama to come back. So I can have another chance.



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My mother was kind, until she was not. She was not invested in being mean, as were your mothers. She was not sadistic. She could be mean. She was selfish. She put herself first. She was self-serving. She could distort reality in a self-serving way.

But her persona was not mean, in general. She did not try to trick or humiliate people. She had great compassion for the poor and the powerless. She despised racism, especially against immigrants, with whom she identified.

She could never understand why many Jewish people turned against the poor or immigrants. She would say, "don't they remember the lives they lived, their parents' lived when they came here? How can they not remember? How is it different? Who do they think they are now? Queen Elizabeth?" And she would go to her senior citizens current events group and she would tell them all to their faces that they were racists and betraying themselves and who they came such.

And even though it would hurt her when everybody got mad and threatened to throw her out of the group, she would go back and keep saying it. She was always odd man out. But she would go back and say the same thing.

That is why I think I am the same way. I am always the prisoner. I am the undocumented. I am the refugee. The migrant.

My sister is the reverse. She believes herself to have the same values, but she comes from a position of judgment and exclusion. How I cannot stand her.

My mother never said to me one thing in judgment of M or to rethink the relationship. Even with respect to marital status. She always said, keep
your mother shut. He will come to it in time. It is his decision to make. She was right. Who is nagging about the divorce now? M.

My mother had a great deal of wisdom about life.

Can you see my grief? What my loss was? That I turned away from her in life?

And she was the best company anybody could have. She was saucy. Irreverent. She was confident, supremely so (I am not.) She was beautiful. As good a conversationalist as existed. And funny. You do not know funny, if you did not know my mother.

And who lost out on all of it? Me.

Because I walked away.

I cannot make sense of what my life has been. Really. It just does not make sense.
I guess that is why I am back in bed.

The only part of it that makes sense now is M. The simple day to day way we live. Boxes of stupid clothes and shoes and socks arriving for a cold climate (that exists only in my dreams) and then sending 3/4 of it back. M has said. No more buying until we get there. I am thinking he fears we never will.

How many snow boots do 2 people need? I suspect, not 12 pairs. Especially when they can almost share the same size.



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Copa I will join Cedar and light a candle for your mother, a special one. We light candles all the time. I will explain to my husband who it is for. Ours are all scented. Do you think she'd have liked lavender? It is for her and for you, Copa. She was not t he monster Cedar's mom and my mother are/were. I also think your sister was very influential in your relationship. Beware of her.

You have a great gift, Copa. Your mother loved you. She really did. She had problems but that doesn't mean she didn't love you. You are blessed. As you know, not every mother loves her child.

Copa, I think of your mother a bit like my father. He is not a perfect person. Often he has lost his temper with all of us and when he does, he says mean things that I doubt he remembers or really means. He may mean it at the moment, but not viciously like my mother did as my mother would repeat the same criticisms and out and out cruelty over and over again, but Dad does not. I love my Dad because he loves me. I love him with all my heart. I would love anyone who loves me. It isn't hard to get my heart. He refuses REFUSES to let sister influence him. She says "he doesn't get it." Oh, yeah, he gets it. He isn't goi9ng to cut out his daughter because you are unhappy that I did some Facebook stuff to you, biotch. So Copa, I think we are talking about flawed people who love us anyway and whom we love because of that. It is a treasure to be loved. You and I and Cedar do not take love for granted.

Copa, anniversaries of bad things can set us back. I think you will feel better soon. Sending healing vibes.