Is there a time we can and should say good-bye to our past?

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by SomewhereOutThere, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've been doing a lot of thinking about this lately.

    I was entrenched in my FOO, their cruelty, how bad I felt about ME, and I wanted so badlly to be loved by them all when I was up to my middle thirties and joined CODA. I still wanted it after that, but not as much. And my ex-boyfriend, who really didn't last long, was there long enough to tell me something incredible...that he leaves people who are mean to him, including family. This was a concept that made my jaw drop, but it made me think. Hard.

    Since then, in teeny tiny steps, I have been accepting this. I still tried, at the end, to get my mother to at least have peace with me, but a good part of that was because of my very strong spiritual belief that it is best to get your differences sorted out on earth. The rest of it was the wish to be loved by a mother who never seemed to love me; who not only acted like I could do no right, but whom tried to make everyone else around her (successfully) agree with her. But, still, at the time of her death I was detached enough not to mourn her passing, as I felt she was a stranger. I will never forget when the grave was open (you don't do this at Jewish weddings and she didn't want it, but Sis did so Sis got what she wanted per usual). I did not recognize the body in the casket. It was not the dark haired, young looking women I had known. It reminded me of just how long we had been estranged.

    The mourning came later. It was not that she was gone as much as she left and had made it very clear from her grave that I was not her daughter. I had a delayed hurt reaction to that, although I really did expect it.

    She's been dead ten years. How long should I keep caring about what she did to me? When should I let her voice go and correct myselff when I hear her instead of my own voice talking to me?

    We were not close. I never did blame myself for that. I thankfully did not carry THAT burden. She chose to do it, not me. And, seriously, I believe the $5000 was her last straw and, if os, how lame was that? Was her thinking? How dare I want to protect my kids. But it was the end of us. I didn't see her after that. I just talked to her when I called, which was about once a month or so.

    When also do I just totally forget the rest of my family? My uncle is also dead. He had never been a big part of my life. Yes, because he was a golden golden family member he had huge influence over my mother, but so what? He was a scared man-child who had an inflated ego. Is it not time to forget his nickname for me "the brat?" And that my mother let him call me this? Seriously, I was a very young child when he said that. Other than that he was too busy chasing girls and breaking their hearts and cheating on them to worry about me. I'm sure I rented no space in his head.

    My "thems?"

    I'm doing much better with both. I actually do not think of either in the present anymore, except, of couse, when my father wanted me to call him even though Thing 1 was visiting from the East coast. I told him no, I would not feel comfortable talking to him with Thing 1 around as he eavesdrops and Dad, by his choice, has decided to live in a tiny apartment, way below his means, so I'm sure Thing 1 could hear me if I called. Plus there is always the chance Dad would try to coerce Thing 1 into t alking to me, which neither of us want. But honestly other than that, when I think about him it is mostly in the past and not often. Is it time to let him go completely? How?

    My sister would probably be as gone as Thing 1 except she still writes about me and probably reads this, but she is also fading except past memories. I mostly remember the cut offs and the cops. She has never gone out of her way for me, or anyone really. When do I say good-bye?

    When and how do we purge the past completely?

    I'm getting there. I am not regretful of things I did. If I did wrongs to them, I forgive myself. I don't even know what they were, a good deal of the time and sometime I knew and was sorry. And sometimes they did wrongs and knew and they were NOT sorry or even thinking they were wrong.

    I confess something rather embarassing.

    I lost two dogs that our adopted 11 yer old killed.

    I truly still miss them and can cry thinking about them.

    I miss them more than my entire family put together.

    Am I bad? If so, then I'm bad. Because it's true.

    I am far more focused on those in my life actively and on myself now than I am on them. they are fading, fading, becoming smaller and smaller...

    Even my dad couldn't rattle me when he said "I'll go to the bank right now if you hang up."

    If he does, he does. His money. His decision.

    I did not get upset over it. Actually, I just told husband who rolled his eyes and said, "Oh, for pity sakes."

    I know how crazy he thinks my family is. Believe it or not, that's validation. It helps. He grew up in a loving family and he knows the difference.

    So are we ever going to bid our past farewell?

    Is it possible? Is it possible for ANYONE to do that?
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Yes. It is possible to let them go. When? If you are consumed with your past and it colors your today, then it is time to let it go. You will never be able to 'fix' the past. It's over. Embrace your present family who loves you, values you, and gives you emotional support. You deserve your now. I literally had a funeral for my past. I made a coffin and put in pictures of those who wounded me. I wrote all the negative things that were said, and buried it. I refuse to dredge up the past. I choose to embrace today. It is a choice that you can make.
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A funeral for my past. What a good idea. I love it.

    I do embrace today, but it would be good to symbolically bury the past too. Thanks.
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Yes. And we can support you through it here.

    D H is waiting. I am sneaking this time. That is how important you are to me, and to all of us.


  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    My mom is this way too, Serenity.

    It almost seems that our moms don't want their children to have the strength come of healthy family. They want us to be keep being the ones they hurt into believing we deserve what they do to us and they never, ever stop.

    I am so sorry that you have been and are still being hurt by them, Serenity. They are so wrong to do this to you.

    So wrong.

    But you have us, now. We will come through this. We are here for you as you come through it ~ and you will come through it.


    Here is something you need to know: You have helped me be stronger in my life, and in the way I interact with my kids. I thank you for that most sincerely.

    You are a fine woman.

    You have us, now.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Every day.

    Honor yourself every day with an intention of strength and compassion and healing.

    There is nothing more punishing than to be teased, than to be turned away and singled out and ridiculed. That kind of punishment can bring adults to their knees. (Think brainwashed soldiers; think prisoners of war. Think of the olden days, when they put people in stocks to humiliate them.) And you lived it, every minute of every day because shaming you somehow served your mother's illness.

    She had no right to do that to you or to any little girl or little boy.

    She is reprehensible.

    She was a harmful mother. She should never have been allowed to raise the children she brought into the world.

    Think of the broken-hearted lover who never forgets that first rejection. Think of what it feels like not to be one of the first people chosen for a baseball team. What it feels like to have no one send us a birthday card.

    What it feels like to sleep alone.

    That is the world you were made to grow up in.

    You were just a little girl, Serenity.

    A defenseless baby girl, perfect in every way...born into the lair of the Witch Mother. How scary for that baby! As you would grow, even the clothing you were made to wear had been designed to leave you singled out, rejected.

    The Witch Mother saw to it the Child was never given the dolls she would have been able to love and find some measure of comfort in and create an imaginary world around.

    She even told you terrible stories about what happened when you were an infant too young to remember. Though she was your mother Serenity, this woman did everything in her power to destroy everything you are and she never, ever stopped; she even reached out from the grave.

    Why did she do it?

    You will have to create enormous amounts of love to heal those wounds.

    Do you have a talisman for your mother?

    I have one, for mine.

    Reclaim your power, Serenity.

    Do you have pictures of yourself as a baby, as a little girl, as you grew? There was a time when it was so hard for me not to hate images of myself. Because this was so, those pictures were incredible tools for learning to cherish myself, for learning to love that little girl that I was, whose world revolved around hatred and rejection and betrayal.

    I can't imagine how any of us survived it. It is no wonder we assume that what we feel for and from our sibs is hatred. It was the only emotion encouraged or allowed in the households we grew up in.

    How sad, for all of us.

    You will decide for yourself what is best for your own healing Serenity. We will be here for you as long as you want or need us. That is what each of us needs, to heal: right witness.

    We have each accomplished amazing things with one another as witness.

    You will come through this time stronger, more certain.


    Your mom was so wrong, to have harmed you as she has. Just think. There were adoptive mothers whose hearts were aching for a perfect little girl to love, the whole time your birth mother was hurting you into submission to whatever crazy dream she was living through her own children. Though each of our stories are different, at the heart of it, there is a selfish, self-centered mother fueling her own sense of aggrandizement with the destruction of her own children.

    It boggles the mind.

    We will come through it.

    The following is from some internet site on estrangement:

    Characteristics of estrangement include a lack of empathy in one or more of the parties involved. This may result in heightened levels of stress in all parties, although in the case of an abusive relationship the victim may feel a sense of relief once the source of stress has been removed.

    {{{Which you do, Serenity. No more active abuse for you; no portion of fresh pain daily as a sister or a brother dig into those wounds mother left, and where you are seeding strength now, instead.}}}}

    Estrangements may involve a third party, such as a member of the extended family or the adult child's spouse. The third party provides emotional support to the party initiating the estrangement, providing the estranger with an alternate social support system and thus enabling the deepening of the estrangement.

    The rejected parties may try a number of strategies to repair the rift. In some cases, taking responsibility and making amends for harsh words or difficult circumstances may improve the relationship. However if the estrangement is the result of a behavioural pattern (such as a personality disorder) rather than a sequence of unfortunate life events it is doubtful that the relationship will survive in any meaningful form.

    {{{So, there is the answer, Serenity. A personality disorder; a pattern of behavior over time indicative of the choice to filter the potential for love between sisters or brothers or mothers through that same filter of hatred we all grew up with, instead. Why would we ever continue to welcome these haters into the beautiful lives we've created? We refute hatred; we declare it null and void. It has no power over us now because we say so.

    Our of our lives it goes.}}}}}

    In some cases, the initiator of the estrangement stipulates boundaries in order to maintain limited contact (and therefore limit emotional damage)

    {{{This is what you tried to do with your sister.}}}}

    with the person they see as their abuser. In other cases, the initiator is unable or unwilling to consider any type of reconciliation.[2]

    {{{And this is what you are choosing, now.}}}


    Health implications
    Those rejected by one or more family members in a family estrangement experience a decline in psychological and physical health.[3][4] The social rejection in family estrangement is the equivalent of ostracism which undermines four fundamental human needs: the need to belong, the need for control in social situations, the need to maintain high levels of self-esteem, and the need to have a sense of a meaningful existence.[5] The rejected parties suffer adverse psychological consequences such as loneliness, low self-esteem, aggression, and depression.[6]

    Family estrangement activates the grief response. However, the rejected family may not achieve the final grief stage of acceptance, given that the social death of the relationship is potentially reversible. The prolonged suffering of the rejected party, together with a perceived or real stigma of having been rejected by a family member, results in isolation and behavioral changes in the rejected party.[7][8]

    So much suffering, and for what?

    Out they go.

  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    No, but it might be time to determine what it was you needed from this uncle instead of what you got. And it might be time to see what he did through your own eyes, Serenity, and to see the faces and hear the words you needed, instead of the words that bad, nasty man said. And that, simply by virtue of having been a little girl, you deserved.

    What kind of person does that to a little kid.

    Do you think he thought he was being funny?

    Daughter tells this story of the grandmother of daughter's first child. The grandmother was a Native American. As a young girl, she had been torn away from her family of origin and taught that all things about her Native heritage were filthy and wrong. She was punished for speaking a word of her native language.

    She never saw her parents, again.

    When she reached eighteen, she was tossed out of the orphanage with nothing and no one. She had been taught the features of her race, the features of her own face, were ugly, were animal-like.

    And that is the truth she saw reflected in the society around her.

    Out of the wreckage of the family this grandmother had gone on to create in her young womanhood, there were no "success" stories. There was alcoholism and joblessness and a strange kind of misogyny in which both male and female hated their children because they bore the features they themselves had been taught to hate, had been taught were visible markers of the shame that they existed, at all.

    Anyway, the old rental where the grandmother lived was the one safe haven for the mixed race, illegitimate grandchildren the woman's own children grew up and gave birth to and could not care for from the depths of their own addictions and self hatred.

    One of this woman's grandchildren was the male who fathered my daughter's first child.

    My daughter lived there for a time, off and on, with the male and with my first grandchild. This is one of the things my daughter saw the grandmother tell one of her own grandchildren. The grandchild was a girl, just coming into adolescence. Like adolescent girls (and boys) everywhere, the granddaughter spent time every morning at the mirror trying to make herself acceptable, trying to find beauty in her own reflection before she would go to school, where her Native blood precluded beauty or even, acceptance. The grandmother said: "What are you looking in that mirror for! You're a dirty Indian and you'd better get used to it. Get away from that mirror!"

    Or words to that effect.

    The point of my telling this story here is your own Jewish heritage, Serenity.

    Could this kind of self-hatred be what fueled your Family of Origin's treatment of all of the children in your family?

    Our families of origin were such hurtful things, weren't they.

    And none of those things that have happened to our ancestors had anything to do with us, with who we were when we came into the world, but we were destroyed by them, nonetheless.

    Here is another story.

    I had a black friend. He said: "I wake up in the morning. I stretch, I come awake, I begin planning my day. I go into the bathroom to brush my teeth. I am horrified, shocked and surprised, as though I have forgotten, in the night, that my face is black.

    I am.


    And he would hate himself for that black face that was his face.

    And then, he would go out into the world.

    Angry, and hating himself.

    Maybe he too was scarred in these ways. We cannot give love from a heart that is empty.

    Here's the thing: Aloneness is a vulnerable place to be. So, we are working to understand the nature of our relationships and to reject, not the relationship so much as the nature of it. It is not that we would not like to, love to, have family to celebrate. It is that we deserve better than what we are getting.

    Once we get that?

    We can provide what we need for ourselves.

    We always have. This aspect of things is no different.

    Maybe what you need to mourn even now is that your mother's weakness, her refusal to heal her own brokenness meant you would never have a mother, but only a woman reveling in hurting her own children the way she had herself been hurt.

    What is there to honor in that?

    Have there been mother figures in your life, Serenity?

    Maybe that is what we need to find. Appropriate imagery of The Mother.

    In the lair of the Witch Mother, estrangement is a tool often employed. What in the world was the matter with these people.


    I think we can never be prepared for the depths of hatred rising off our own mothers, our own sisters. We are fortunate to be out of it, to be away from them. What is it we are missing, that we keep going back, that we keep thinking about them. Is it that same old "responsibility" to bring everyone to love and acceptance and is that what my dinner imagery is about and of course it is.

    So this is the heart of the issue then and has nothing to do with them and everything to do with us.

    With responsibility and blaming and guilt and shame.

    No wonder I never see any food on my family dinner table, those jerks.

    But here is the difference in the way I am seeing the table: I used to feel hopeful. Now, I demand explanation. Look here you jerks. NO FOOD. What kind of dinner is that?!?



    Back to you, Serenity.

    Every time. Remember: "That'll do, pig." was kinder than what my mother's negatives were doing, circling and circling beneath the tides of mind.


    Everything bout all of it is pretty lame. What they do only matters until we get it that they never loved us. So...what were we thinking, having anything to do with them at all? Why are we thinking about them, now?

    They never loved us.

    They never even knew us. They knew only a hated reflection of self.

    Well, F you, mom. I deserved better than you.

    That would go for sisters and the assorted brother too, of course.

    Maybe, with regret for everything that might have been and was not.

    As much as I rail around roaring about anger and etc, I think we will not recover ourselves fully until we can put our pasts to rest with compassion for each of the people we actually do, under all of it, love. They, our families, were meant to be sure and steady sources of love and support and strength. We are hard-wired, in our brains we are hard-wired, for that. I think that unless we can find and believe in our own love, we cannot heal. We are working, I think we are working, to understand how these terrible things could have happened to all of us instead of the rich satisfaction being part of a family can bring.

    Something happened.

    Something really bad happened, over and over again, for our families to be as messed up as they are.

    That is where we find compassion for all of us. First and most importantly, compassion for ourselves, and pride in ourselves too, for the amazing courage we have shown in our struggle to make sense of and survive what happened to us instead of that richness, that support and security and honor family can be and for us, was not.

    Once we can do that, once we are no longer vulnerable to our trickster families of origin, then I think we come into compassion for all of us. At the end, what we will learn is that our families of origin were/are wounded ~ grievously wounded, probably.

    At the end, I think we will know that we all have done the best we know. It just wasn't enough.

    I don't know how I am going to fit what my mother did to me, and what she continues to do to all of us even now into that compassionate picture I've drawn.

    What I do know is that will be the only healing, for me.

    There has to be a reason these terrible things happened to all of us.

    I will always wish that my people had loved me. I think I will always long for that. It is important though, for me to know, to accept, that they do not love me, after all.

    Somehow, I need to step into a truth where I can accept that without blaming myself for it.

    I don't know how to do that either. I am still appalled ~ I mean, with every weighty form of that word there could be ~ at what my mother did; at what my sister does, too.

    But I think it is crucial for us to really get it that whatever it is that is fueling the dysfunctional ways our families of origin have responded to those in their lives...that toxicity is not personal to us. Whatever toxic thing is affecting all of us ~ that is the problem. Not us. We came into skewed, crazy, hurtful situations that were set into motion long before we were ever born into them.

    We need to remember that,for our own sakes and for the sake of our healing.

    I don't know. I only know that we seem to be bringing ourselves through it, witnessing for one another and learning from one another, here.

    We are so fortunate in that.

    That is like a miracle of a blessing for each of us.

    You have been key to my healing, key to my having been able to see these hurtful betrayals and rejections from another and healthier place. You and Copa and me and pasa and IC and nerfherder ~ somehow, we are able to make a difference for one another.

    So, that is good, then. That little miracle happening for each of Who would have believed we could do this thing we are doing with faith and strength and vulnerability and trust.

    But we are.



    What a happy thing!


  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Yes. Forgiving ourselves instead of judging ourselves...that would be love, right?

    That would haunt me, too.

    You have been through so much that is horrifying, horrific.

    I am so deeply sorry for the dogs, for what that must have been like for them!

    It's like falling through a trapdoor, to be confronted with that kind of evil. What an awful, awful thing.

    No, Serenity. You are good. If you were bad, you would not feel as you do about what happened ~ about all the bad things that happened to all of you because of that one boy you all believed in and took into your hearts.

    Maybe I am looking at all of this in a wrong way. Maybe it is true that there are people with something driving them we will never understand.

    And maybe my mother, and maybe all of our mothers, were people like that.

    The literature tells us they are out there, walking around in the world...and that empathic people are their chosen victims and their easiest prey.

    We could not rationalize this boy's actions through drug use or long term addiction.


    I am sorry that happened to you, and to your animals, Serenity.

    What an awful thing.

    The validation I receive from D H is like that too, Serenity. It isn't that he says "Oh, there, there." He is like, flummoxed at the things my family of origin does. They are literally beyond anything he can understand.

    It was D H who first told me to forgive myself, where my family of origin is concerned. He said there was nothing to be done for or about them but to see what they do and evict them from our minds and hearts. He is curious about my process here on the site? But he does not understand why any of us gives our families of origin thought or headspace or regret. He does not understand how it is I hold myself responsible for anything having to do with my childhood.

    He gets it, and agrees, that I was different before the kids ~ before our own family went through what we've been through. He agrees that I am stronger and happier and calmer, now and the longer I am away from my FOO.

    We were talking last night about that last phone conversation I had with my sister. D H said that is always the attitude I needed to take ~ to respond to my family from that place I am now ~ because they are bullies, every last one of them.

    Except my father.

    D H sees him as a victim, too.

    But he stayed with my mother, and he sided with my mother against there you have it. Peace at all costs? Toss a daughter to the wolves? (Well, not exactly to the wolves. I did have D H and all the "very nice" (like in Lil and Jabber's Monty Python clip) things that we have. "We already got one." That is true for each of us. We already do "got one". It's a matter of seeing the authority of the English king and his demands for the fraudulent things they are.

    I will put that clip here for us.

    They don't even have any real horses.

    I don't know. But I do know we are coming into new understandings about who we were taught we were. That is what matters. We cannot change what happened.

    We can only change how we respond.

    That, we can do.

  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Okay. After watching the clip again, I see I am wrong about the compassion part. Your approach is the more correct one, Serenity.

    Had the French displayed compassion, they would have been rewarded by being recruited into the Crusades ~ recruited to fight and to die for something that meant nothing to them because they already got one.

    And oh, yes ~ it's very nice.

  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    SWOT, thank you for this thread.

    I am thinking about the time at the BBQ when my then 6 year old son, yelled out to my aunt "don't pinch me" as she was standing behind him at the picnic table. And my sister went in to apologize to my aunt for us (I guess, I was guilty because I did not check my son.)

    If this was not blatant rejection, I do not know what is.

    I lived my life estranged. I define it as something I chose. That I did not want to be around the bad behavior of my sister or mother. I tell myself that I tried to stay far away from abuse.

    Maybe the reality is that I removed myself from the reality of rejection: I withdrew because I had already been invalidated. My estrangement was already a done deal.

    It could well be that it did not fit the sense of myself that I wanted to or needed to have as a valuable and worthwhile person, that I submerged what was my real subjective sense: rejected and abandoned.
    I had this condition in my life. My maternal grandparents were very close to us, and lived very close. My grandmother was present in our home 3 or 4 days a week, until I was 13 and we moved after my mother's remarriage.

    It was when my grandmother died when I was 26 that I acknowledged the estrangement that already existed between myself and my mother and sister. Five years later when my grandfather died, there had already been years of formal separation.

    This was my life, too. I had thought I chose it, I now think I did not.
    SWOT, I agree with Cedar.

    There are places like the Holocaust Museum that honor and remember those killed. They do not see those people as victims. They see them as heroes.

    As long as the Holocaust Museum exists the perpetrators will be remembered as what they were. Never Forget is the mantra of many. Never Forget. Because the minute one does those terrible deeds are swept away to be the dust of history.

    I take a stand with Cedar, and with you SWOT. We first must acknowledge the truth of what happened. And then, never, ever forget it.

    There are all kinds of pressures on us to forget. To go with the flow. To make amends. To move on from negativity. To get over it.

    The thing is, how do you get over "evil." Should you, once you have felt, really felt and lived its effects?

    The potential to evil is in everyone of us. We choose to either squelch it or cultivate it in a little petrie dish in our inner soul. Each evil thought or act breeds another, and another and another. It seems your Mother would not or felt she could not stop the breeding of evil acts in her psyche.

    There is no museum, SWOT, to remember you as the little person who was so badly treated. Only you. (And here, when you post.)

    Look at it this way: Here we are your museum. The place where no one will ever forget. Here we will always remember crimes against children. Do not ever forget, SWOT. Never, ever allow your experience to be forgotten. Especially, by yourself.

    And now I am thinking about my son, and how he must feel. That his parents filled his little body within, still unborn with toxins and disease...uncaring how their drugs or alcohol may have poisoned him...uncaring even that he was conceived in their disease ridden bodies. And then threw him away like garbage.

    Imagine the wounds of a beginning like that. It is too easy to concentrate on the markings of objective disease and limits. What about the psychic and spiritual consequences of knowing your entry into life itself, was such as this?

    So many times I have thought my son's destiny was in the spiritual realm, as a leader and thinker. In what other way could someone move beyond the toxicity of his beginnings?
    There was a white leather picture album. With black card stock pages. I sometimes looked at that album every day, several times. Those pictures were mostly of me. I was born quite tiny. Too tiny to live, really.

    The baby in that album clearly looked celebrated and loved. The little girl who saw those pictures was not.

    Let us never forget:
    This is a horrible thing, if this is so. Still, I cannot come to it.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The French Soldier is clear about who he is. He is also clear about who the English are. He hesitates not at all in telling them so.

    King Arthur: Can we come up and have a look?

    French Man: Of course not. You're English types.

    At first he is reserved but cordial. It is only when the English act imperious and arrogant. When they do not listen, are indifferent to what the Frenchman says...when they only think of what they need and who they are...and demean him is when the Frenchman returns in kind their negativity.

    When they seek to cross boundaries, he checks them: Mind your own business.

    He checks them: No you can't.

    They try to reject and demean him, by demanding a superior, or invite his subordination to them:

    Sir Galahad: Is there someone else up there we can talk to?
    French Soldier: No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

    He never doubts himself. He rejects them....Not himself.

    I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper!

    He calls it as he sees it. The English are trying to intimidate. To take advantage. To impress by their sense of their entitlement, their grandiosity. He calls it abuse, because it is:

    French Soldier
    : You don't frighten us, English pig dogs. Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person.

    The Frenchman rejects every stupid and self-serving and abusive thing they say, out of hand.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Can we sort out differences with other people who will not speak to us as if we are even human?

    I do not think so. That is the lesson of the French Soldier and the English.

    At first he approaches his dialog with them in a reasonable tone.

    It is only after they will not engage with him even as a person...that he calls them out.

    They refuse him dignity.
    They assert their needs as superior.
    They will not listen.
    They do not hear him, really.
    They hear only themselves, their own voices.
    To the English, everything about the castle is already theirs. In their minds, they already own it. In their minds they have already entered and possessed it.

    It is this that the French Soldier checks. And even at the end of it, the English do not get it one bit.

    They never even credited the French Soldier as existing, really. How could he have ever really spoken to them in a way they would understand? To the English he existed only as a thing...a way to realize what they wanted and needed.

    How do you have a dialog to sort out differences, if one party starts the conversation believing theirs is the only voice that even exists, let alone matters?

    We are defeated before we even start a conversation. Because, a priori, we do not exist, to the other person. Let alone have merit, rights, or interests.

    The only conversation to work out differences we can have, I think, is within our own heads.

    The sad thing is we hold ourselves responsible for the failure of the conversations. We blame ourselves that because when we do try...our attempts fail.

    We never even existed to them as individual and deserving people. How could they ever have listened? If they did not even give us person hood?
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, I never meant to stop exploring or letting them back in or forgiving. I don't get the concept of forgiveness as it has been defined in some religions. I can not neutralize and wipe out what they did to me when they have no remorse. I can't and won't and don't feel bad or worse about myself for that. I just wondered if there is a time to move on.

    I think there is. But that doesn't mean we forget what happened. It colors who we are.

    Maybe we should write down the good things that came out of unloving mothers. With me, I developed a very strong social conscience and an unshakable compassion toward others (excepting those who abused me. I'm not ready for that yet). My compassion for most people and animals is one of the traits I have that I value and without having been mistreated, I am not sure I'd have been so eager and willing to help others in need. I have done a lot in that direction.

    Another is my non-conformity. I do not try to fit in with particular crowds just because "everyone does it." If I feel like wearing my doggy pajama pants outdoors in the winter, I do. They're warm and cozy and soft and I often wear pajama bottoms in the winter. Nobody seems to stare at me like I'm that odd, but who knows? I don't care. I go outside without makeup and don't care too. Why spend hours on my face? Why does anybody? I look how I look. If you don't like it...bite me ;)

    I seperated from my family due to them, but they did me a favor. I built a really cool family who did not experience thier crapola values. And I like my values. I do not know what I'd be like if I'd have been enmeshed with the rest of them and I don't want to know.

    By moving on, I mean emotionally. Fight hard against those voices in your head. Stop giving compassion to those who had none for us or were just using us. Walk our own path with nobody in the way to trip us up.

    Dare to think, "Except for those who make and honor the laws of the land, nobody can tell me how to live. I am free."

    It's all about freedom.

    Does this make any sense?
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The French Soldier holds steady throughout. However he is treated by the English he never turns against himself. He never questions himself. He holds steady that he is OK and that the issue is the English.

    And this is very remarkable.

    Because even with my son, perhaps, especially with him, if I am unable to get him to understand, to accept my position, to understand my humanity, I have fallen apart. Although I am way better.
    In the past I have believed that his inability to understand or to accept the rightfulness of my position and how he affects me...meant something bad about me. That I did not deserve more. I would become defensive. A tire in a rut in the road.

    Have I, defensively, adopted an aggressive posture when I speak with my son:

    Do I refuse him his dignity?
    Do I assert my needs as superior?
    Do I not listen?
    Do I not really hear him?
    Do I hear only my own voice?
    Do I take ownership over solving his problems, as if to assert they are mine to resolve?
    Have I acted in such a way as to disrespect my son?
    Do I assume that I have rights to take over his interests as if they were my own?

    I look at my communications with my son of late. With honesty. Accepting that he refuses to hear one word of what I say. I am forced to ask myself a question.

    Am I an English Pig Dog when I speak to my son?
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok. I give up. What is an English Pig dog?
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Copa and Cedar, as I have mentioned, I threw out my picture albums. I did so willfully and not in a fit of rage. I actually did it calmly so that I never again had to see fake young mother smiling at baby she did not love. I couldn't bear to see it. And I didn't want to remember the fake pictures of me on stage at one of my mother's dance studio recitals, dressed cute, but only up there because SHE owned the I could never dance and would never learn to dance. But there was a little toddler up there, dressed to dance and be the dancing queen she wanted when she wanted a daughter. It was all what SHE wanted me to be. It wasn't me. Even when I saw the other kids dancing, I did not wish it was me. I was halppy just to stay near my grandmother.

    I did not want to see the hand made clothing and out-of-date hairstyle my mother made me wear to school. I got A LOT of teasing because of just those two things. It did not occur to her that my peers would make fun of me for dressing so different from the rest of them and wearing my hear in an old fashion style. Nor did she care. She kept telling me "You don't want to be like everyone else. Bunch of copycats." Not quite in those words, but she wanted me to be different.

    Neurologically, academically, and I was dressed like something out of an old comic books. Nobody dresed like I did. So I was bullied at school too. Badly. Even beaten up, wh ich was odd those days for a girl. And nobody helped. And my mother still dressed me to be "different." I do believe my sister, and I credit her for this, refused to wear what my mother made and therefore, being seven years younger, my mother had already given up that I, her odlest, would remain "different" and insisted on dressing in she did not subject my sister to this atrocity that caused alienation. But those pictures are long one and I dont' miss them.

    I did not miss the pictures of me and my siblings, me and my brother holdilng dolls that my mothere ALLOWED us to have. It reminds me that I couldn't have my Thumbalena doll. I couldn't have Barbies. I couldn't have Chatty Cathy. I could ony have dolls that passed her inspection. I don't need to see myself and my brother holding dolls at all.

    I am glad I tossed the book. A picture is a snapshot in time when everyone smiles and looks happy.

    "A Smile is Just a Frown Turned Upside Down, My Friend" Song is Smiling Faces and I forget who sang it, but an awesome song. The Staples?

    My first photos I have are of me as a pretty teenager which friends holding the camera. No fakeness there.

    Oh, yes. And let's not forget that Uncle Narcissistic is no longer in that picture book either. He had no right to be in that picture book. I never liked him. I still wonder what really went on in that dark room between himself and me. He gives me the creeps. He is dead. I'd rather not see him when he was alive.

    Pictures can be a curse.

    Just a random rant brought on by the idea of a photo album.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh! Okie, I will. I did not watch Monty Python.
  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is an interesting point. Over time, we somehow come to believe we initiated the exclusion and berate ourselves for it. Over time we do that. Nostalgia filters out the painful things. There is a quote about that. Something about nostalgia being a distillation of haunted desires ~ of things that never were, things that we long for and wish we could have again. In our own minds then, we may be blending the truth of what was with the wishes we have for what it could and should have been. Then, we see these really crummy things from our pasts in a better light, regret our having chosen to protect ourselves from undeniably toxic interactions, and berate ourselves for lost things that we never had at all. The truth may have been that we chose health over interacting with family with whom we were uncomfortable for good reason.

    As we have done our work on the FOO Chronicles, I found what I remembered to have been so unlike what actually happened, once I forced myself to take a look at it. The meanness in what was and in what is happening today is shocking.

    I would always post that I was so surprised. What I meant was WTF.

  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Like all children we just wanted to be unconditionally accepted and loved. That we weren't made us need to figure out what most people already knew when we escaped. Yet they were still our DNA and society said to love them and that they will love you.
    It has been quite a journey finding out and accepting that this isn't always true.
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    When I separated from my family so many years ago, it was really a big ho-hum for them. While it felt dramatic within me, for my mother and sister, there may have been relief.

    Then I was an uncomfortable person to be around, for them.

    I had not yet grown into myself. I had all of the feelings that I still have, without the superstructure to manage or understand them which it has taken a lifespan to construct. Lots of vulnerability, and anger, that nobody really wanted to deal with. I think my mother's and sister's personalities worked together, in a way mine did not.

    I think I might have been excluded from their dyad. And that suited me, just fine. I think my mother may not have felt comfortable, when she was near me. I think by my limits, the way I was damaged, my softness, maybe. She felt guilt, I think. There was part of her that may not have wanted me near her. She did not like how I saw her, I think.

    She did not protest, really, when I pulled away. She did not call me. At least, not much. And then, not at all. She went on with her life.

    I think she regretted how things were, but she accepted their need to be that way.

    It was so many years ago, all of it. Forty years.

    When I think of the anguish I feel for a few days out of contact with my son, the near operatic intensity of our interactions ...I am forced to accept that I must have suppressed great pain that my relationship with my mother had died with as if a whimper.

    SWOT posted a while back that children who had been excluded ran back to take care of their dying mothers to seek the love from them they never had. I was sure this had not been the case, with my own.

    Increasingly I am able to see the truth is somewhat different.

    What caught me up was how much I had wanted love from her and to love her. I had not known how much.

    I knew, dying or not, she did not have it in her to give what I had needed. I knew that going in.

    I did not know how much I had been damaged and wounded because I had not been loved by my mother in the way I needed. How much it had cost me to not love her, as I needed to and I in fact did, I did not know.

    Yes, I did go back to take responsibility. Yes, I did not go back to care for her to win her love. Yes, I never believed for one second that I would receive what I needed from her.

    In the end, these were all lies.

    The ambush I entered came from myself. Making myself vulnerable to that great need and want. With no way to fulfill it. The lion's share of my grief and grieving was for myself.

    And I blamed myself for it all.

    The agony I suffered at my own hand in the last days of my mother's life and after, was as if to blame the victim. I beat myself up because I was not strong enough to withstand my mother. As if she had no responsibility in any of it.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I seem to use that statement often.

    What was the "mother love pudding" that I ate in my life? How did it go down, upon eating? That is the test, here, after all.

    It was toxic to me. I could not survive, her, ultimately. I was not equipped with a way to defend myself from her. To maintain self-esteem or self-respect, while close to her was not possible. My mother if I was close to her, ultimately, cost me both.

    I could not survive my mother.

    I loved her. This is true. I enjoyed her company, often. I admired her for some things. Being close to her, I could not survive.
    So in bed I have been eating the pudding made of the dust of haunted desire, of things that never were...longed for...never to be had again. That could never ever have been with the mother I had.

    And blamed myself for it. I assumed every bit of responsibility for what I had lacked and wanted. For choosing to protect myself from her.

    It is not the most important thing that I never knew how much I loved her. What is important is this:

    I never knew how much I needed her. How much I needed the love of a real mother. How much I needed to love her in the way I never could. Because she would hurt me if I did. And I never knew how much that really cost me. Until now.

    And I know now that it was not my fault. None of it. I could not show her love because of what she would have done to me. And did do, when she had the chance.

    I was the child who had needed a mother with whom I was safe. I was the young woman who lived a life alone because I had no real family that could love me, with whom I was safe. I was the old woman who had to eat the bitter dust that her life was constructed around a great hollow void.

    The biggest and deepest heart did not receive the love that she needed with all of her deepest desire and yearning. That for her whole life, she had lived bereft.

    And no matter how hard that is to swallow right now. There is a great relief and peace to this dry and tasteless and bitter pudding. The pain and sorrow and emptiness are not my fault.

    That great and hollow void in my heart I can fill.
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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015