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to have this emotional response when my mum is upset?

(4 Posts)
MissClarke86 Sat 12-Nov-16 20:32:50

When I was growing up, my mum suffered with depression for a few years. I was very little and don't really remember.

My dad also had phases of being emotionally abusive to her which caused me a lot of upset, particularly in my teenage years, seeing how he would talk to my mother.

It only happened once every few months, but he would basically switch into a different person and verbally attack her about something very small and would not let it drop. It was relentless and mentally abusive, though not physical. He was always remorseful in the morning.

Anyway, she nearly left but years later things seem much better - they have had counselling etc, he is retired and no longer stressed by work which was a trigger.

My issue is that because I felt so defensive of my mum when I was growing up, and saw her very down, whenever she is upset now it really affects me. Not just in a bit of a worried/what can I do to help way, but it makes me feel physically ill.

I've just spoken to her and she's told me she's feeling down and not very happy currently. I don't think it's related to my dad, but it could be. That's all she said.

Now I feel really blue too. I find it very hard to dig deeper and ask her for more information so that I might be able to help, because I am terrified my dad has kicked off again. I just have a really weird response to it which isn't helpful at all.

If it was a friend or DH I would go into practical/supportive mode, but I almost close up and go into self defensive mode like I did a second a teenager - I feel like I can't cope with hearing about it. But at the same time it breaks me to know she's upset.

I'm 30 with a baby on the way, surely I should be able to get over it and just be supportive?

ChocolateForAll Sat 12-Nov-16 20:43:56

I don't think it's an unreasonable response. I'd imagine the situation is very triggering for you. In my experience CBT can help with situations like this. Working through it with an outsider could put you in a better position to support your mum. Have you had any professional support in the past?

ChocolateHelps Sat 12-Nov-16 20:47:28

You could find a therapist that can help with CBT but also show you EFT (tapping) as that can rant help 'in the moment' of not feeling so triggered.

MissClarke86 Sat 12-Nov-16 20:52:17

Thank you for replying.

Never had outside support, I think I've only realised as I've got older how upsetting I found it.

When I was young I was fixated on moving out and having my own safe place my mum could come to. And also just getting away from it myself.

Also because 99% of the time they seem "fine" it only affects me occasionally. But when it does it's weird and horrible. I feel really anxious and sick.

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