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Struggling to cope with my mum

(21 Posts)
ChristmasCakeAndCrisps Tue 27-Dec-16 19:57:13

Have name changed for this as don't want to be identifiable JIC.

I've been diagnosed with PTSD (which also causes depression and anxiety) and am on mirtazapine 30mg. Mainly just to help me sleep because the PTSD causes ridiculous insomnia.
The PTSD was bought on by an abusive relationship in which I was repeatedly physically and sexually abused and assaulted. This is due to go to trial soon after my ex was charged with multiple counts of rape against me.

The problem I'm having is that the closer it gets to court, the more it's on my mind all the things that happened. And how my mother treated me and regarded me during that time.

In a nutshell - she didn't believe me. She blamed me for a lot that went on with my ex. I think I'd have left him long before I did, had she believed me and not blamed me for what went on. At some point I just stopped telling her things because she'd tell me I'm as bad as him, that it's my fault for staying with him or for going back, she completely cut me off at one point because after a particularly bad assault from him I took him back (it was a really bad assault, and he switched into the lovely sweet guy he was when we first met - Dr Jeckyll!) When I found out I was pregnant by him, I wanted to terminate - she threatened to disown me if I went through with it. So I didn't because she was all I had. There was an occasion where he held me captive for days on end and when I escaped when he was sleeping I ran to her house, the first thing out of her mouth was "well why the fuck did you let him in your house you idiot, what did you think would happen". After the relationship finally ended my ex was breaking into my house and carrying out some really crazy-making behaviour - she told me I was imagining things. She made me feel guilty for fleeing to a refuge because I was taking my baby away from her. She only conceded that I wasn't imagining problems after I fled because she saw the crazy-making stuff with her own eyes. After much discussion with the police I made the decision to report my exs sexual abuse, and when he was arrested I told my mother what had happened and what he'd been arrested for and she said to me "why? he never even raped you".
And then there's now...she makes me feel bad that we don't see her much (distance) but there've been times I've phoned her begging and pleading with her to take my child for a little bit or come and stay with us because my mental health has been so bad I've been suicidal or thinking about foster care for my child because I can't cope, and she's flatly refused. But then she drops everything if a friend has a problem?

Sorry that's so long...I think I just needed to get it out. She's very hard to talk to - she takes everything very personally like it's an attack on her (I have many many examples of this but won't list them all as this post is already so long). But I do wonder if all the bad feelings from before are being bought up and exacerbated by the impending trial, and therefore skewing my feelings towards her now?
I love my mother, and am grateful for the things she does do for me, and for my child. I'm just feeling confused?

RandomMess Tue 27-Dec-16 20:04:32

Geez I think you would do better not bothering with your Mum, she isn't good for you sad

She sounds rather toxic - victim blaming, not helping you (WTAF), blaming you for taking your DC to safety!!

She is not acting like a loving parent, has she ever really demonstrated selfless love to you with no strings attached?

ChristmasCakeAndCrisps Tue 27-Dec-16 20:09:37

I don't really know?

She was there when I gave birth to my DC. She funded majority of the baby stuff as I had nothing. She took me in a couple times when I was homeless. After DC was born and before I fled she was quite involved. Was in refuge for quite a while but when I got a house she came up and helped paint.

RandomMess Tue 27-Dec-16 20:17:04

She was so desperate for you to have a baby for her to be a grandparent wasn't she though:-

Threatened to disown you!! I mean that is forcing/guilting you into having a baby with a man that was utterly abusive to you. I mean why??? A loving mother would have supported you no matter what. It's one thing to offer help in order that you would have felt more able to keep a baby rather than abort her actions were altogether more about what she wanted!

Of course she was involved when the baby was born, because she wanted a GC at the expense of what was best for her own daughter.

Well that is what I am reading from what you have written.


ChristmasCakeAndCrisps Tue 27-Dec-16 20:25:33

That's one of the things I'm really struggling with at the moment...I only had DC because she'd have never spoken to me again if I'd terminated sad she doesn't agree with abortion at all and that's why she said it.

Really struggle that I never get any help with DC, no matter what state I'm in. Maybe I'm wrong to ask/expect any help. She does do alot for us still.

fallenempires Tue 27-Dec-16 21:06:59

Financial/practical help are both invaluable & yes these things are gratefully received.Being there for somebody to really listen to & to try & understand is a different matter altogether.It costs nothing but your time & some compassion/empathy.
If I were you I'd keep contact with your DM to a minimum.

RandomMess Tue 27-Dec-16 21:12:20

Have you a health visitor? Ask them to refer you to home start - yes you need help with your DC but I think asking it of your DM will just bring you heartache.

AnxiousCarer Tue 27-Dec-16 21:34:45

Hi, flowers to you. I'm also recovering from PTSD and on Mirtazapine. Its the nature of PTSD that things that remind you of the event (even ones not easily identified) kick it into overdrive, so I'm not surprised the impending trial is kicking things off badly for you. Infact my councellor told me going over and over the events as in traditional councelling makes it worse, so I would imagine the trial is having a similar effect. Are you seeing a psychologist? Theres a treatment called EDMR which seems to have the best evidence, I've had 1 session which was instantly helpful.

As for your DM I'm not really sure what to say. I think the best bet is to focus on looking after yourself and DC for now and look at your relationship with DM when you are feeling stronger.

thisismyfirsttime Tue 27-Dec-16 21:45:45

It sounds like she's quite controlling- cutting you off, insisting you continue your pregnancy, saying 'I told you so' type of things. I really feel for you, it must be very hard to deal with. Focus on you and your dc for now, do you think you could cut contact with her down to a minimum and deal with the upcoming court case? We're all here for you when/ if you need it and once it's over reevaluate your relationship and decide how much contact to have with her? flowers

ChristmasCakeAndCrisps Wed 28-Dec-16 08:14:19

So many replies, so bear with me...

fallenempires - sometimes she's there for a chat, but only if she's not busy if that makes sense? So if I ring her while she's out with her friends or at work, she either doesn't pick up or says she'll ring back later and then forgets.

RandomMess - I do have a HV, she's coming back next week as we have a mention at court. I had Homestart before and had a really bad experience so asked for them not to be involved again.

AnxiousCarer - Am sorry to hear you suffer with it too sad I'm waiting for CBT to start, and then after the trial I'll start trauma-focussed therapy.
What is EDMR?

thisismyfirsttime - She's just that sort of person I think? My siblings (we're all adults) tell me things and talk to me instead of talking to her because she's very disapproving and very "I told you so". If I try to talk to her about my ptsd she just says "I do know, I have it too" (she's never been to a doctor and hasn't been diagnosed...her friend told her she thinks she has it). I feel really horrible for speaking ill of her and complaining about her, and then I feel like I'm being an ungrateful spoilt brat?

I don't know if I can cut contact with her, as she's meant to be watching my DC for the week of the trial as I don't feel I'll be in any fit state to care for him? She's coming to court with me and DC will go to a sibling - it was a compromise. I agreed she could come as long as she waited in the witness care bit and not come into the courtroom at all.

Thank you for flowers

myoriginal3 Wed 28-Dec-16 08:23:45

You are so so brave.

I think the easiest thing to do is to not rely on her for any support.

bananagreen Wed 28-Dec-16 09:48:20

EDMR is a therapy based on eye movements. The theory is that we move our eyes in certain ways to access memories, emotions and imagination e.g. fears about the future. In the therepy you follow the therapists finger or a light whilst recalling the traumatic memories which changes the way we access the memory. The session I had stopped my flashbacks for a while and gave me instant relief with anxiety which hasn't returned to the previous level.

ChristmasCakeAndCrisps Wed 28-Dec-16 10:14:31

Oh right... I can't start anything that focuses on the trauma in any way until the trial is done with (or if he changes his plea and pleads guilty)

ChristmasCakeAndCrisps Wed 28-Dec-16 10:15:02

I can do CBT but only to focus on managing the symptoms of the ptsd.

AnxiousCarer Wed 28-Dec-16 10:44:51

That sounds really hard. I wonder if nlp (neurolingustic programming) would be allowed. Its a therapy that is content free, so you can get treatment for the effects of the trauma without having to talk about it to anyone. For instance if you get flashbacks in your imagination changing them to black and white, turning down the volume, making thepicture smaller. That has helped me a lot.

ChristmasCakeAndCrisps Wed 28-Dec-16 18:32:09

Sorry AnxiousCarer I'm not sure I know what you mean?

AnxiousCarer Wed 28-Dec-16 18:52:20

Sorry I've not explained well. With NLP you don't have to tell the practitioner any details of the trauma for them to help. They will ask about the emotions you feel e.g. fear and how strongly out of 10 you feel them. They then talk you through the exercises which you do in your own head.

One I've found very useful for flashbacks is imagining that they are showing on a tv screen. You have the controls and you can adjust things like the colours settings, the volume the screen size, the distance from you, the position of the screen e.g. to left or right of you. Each time you change something notice if the emotion is better or worse, you can always change it back if you don't like it. (I tried putting the tv screen behind me so I couldn't see it but it freaked me out, so moved it back infront) for me I felt like the events were being played on a constant loop on a screen in my head and this helped reduce the impact. I hope that made more sense, I've done a lot of nlp so I find it comes naturally, but I supose it does sound a bit odd.

ChristmasCakeAndCrisps Wed 28-Dec-16 18:58:45

I don't seem able to separate things in my head? With the flashbacks I'm very much completely taken over, I have grounding techniques but struggle to focus and it takes a lot of energy and concentration to focus on grounding myself?

RebelRogue Wed 28-Dec-16 20:50:02

it sounds to me like the trial is bringing back all the memories,but now(that u aren't in an abusive,mind fucking relationship)u can see your mum's behaviour for what it was. victim blaming,rape apologist,emotional blackmail,selfish. coupled with her recent behaviour it's bound to be overwhelming,shocking and confusing. be kind to are not to blame,you have no reason to feel guiltyflowersflowers

AnxiousCarer Thu 29-Dec-16 11:23:40

It can be really hard to seperate things in your head, I was well practiced at nlp and meditation before the PTSD which probably has helped. I can understand its very hard to seperate stuff out, if it was easy there would be alot of therapists out of a job...

I use a meditation app called headspace which is quite good at guiding you to still your mind, it was reccommended by a CPN. A useful techneque too is focusing on the things you can see, hear, smell and feel in the present. Thats something I've found useful even when pannic is trying to take over.

ChristmasCakeAndCrisps Thu 29-Dec-16 12:29:28

Thank you RebelRogue flowers There is alot in how she is that I recognise from when I did the freedom programme about my abusive ex. Walking on eggshells about certain things, intentionally hiding things not because I've done wrong but because I know it'd be a problem. I know if I raised it with her she'd pull the "you see abuse in everything because of what you've been through" card (she's said that before when I rang the police after my ex approached me after I'd fled to refuge.) She'd make out like I was creating problems from basically nothing and that I was attacking her. There's literally no point even trying to talk to her about any of how I feel.
A counsellor told her once that the way her mother was led to my mother developing a similar problem, and that the way my mother was led to me and my sister developing the same mother went mental, flat refused to concede that could even remotely be the case and "the stupid fucking bitch doesn't even know what she's talking about, trying to dredge up my childhood" etc. Counsellor was spot on - and I tried to say that to my mother, that watching my mother constantly fuss over her weight led to eating disorders in both me and my sister. But my mum denied it - claims it's hereditary and "just something all the girls in our family go through" (because then it can't be her fault??).

AnxiousCarer that makes sense. I try to do the senses thing (what can I see hear taste feel and smell) but it takes so much to be able to focus my mind?

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