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To go NC or not? (Last straw?)(13 Posts)
I started a thread ages ago and the responses were very helpful and did wonders for me really. In case anyone would like some background: here it is.
My issue now has narrowed a lot in focus. I'm basically at the stage where I have to consider cutting off my mother long-term. My last straw moment came today, when I was looking through our 2015 calendar so as to copy down the day to day events of the IVF I went through in March / April, as I'm due to have another round this spring, and I wanted to remind and prepare myself for it all. Long story short: last summer my mother cat-sat for us while we were away. We returned to find that she'd 'accidentally' 'spilled' boiling water on our calendar. Ok (I thought) these things happen. It was still usable, a bit damaged but hey. Just now I went to March and April to remind myself of the IVF schedule, only to find that those months had been glued together. No other months, just those. It was impossible to see anything I'd written. It sounds mad, but this is unsurprising coming from my mother, and I should have guessed at the time that it wasn't an innocent accident. She'd obviously decided that info about our IVF shouldn't be lying where 'anyone' can read it (despite the fact that only she would ever go through our stuff, none of our other guests would). So she glued the pages down and faked an accident. It was the only clear outline of our IVF treatment that I had In case this sounds like an implausible accusation I'm making, she has form for this - 'accidentally' spilling coffee on unsent letters I wrote as a teenager because she'd opened them and disapproved of what was in them. When I was 11 I came home from school to find her burning all my diaries. It's bringing it all back up for me.
She has Paranoid Personality Disorder (not officially diagnosed), but refuses to see this and refuses to do anything to help herself. She has lived with her mother (whom she hates) for the last ten years. She has never had a job or a proper relationship. I invited her up this Christmas, even though I knew it would mean walking on eggshells and lots of very triggering things in between. The first time she got me alone it was to tell me that her brothers want her to kill herself... We managed to get her to leave when she said she would (she'll often stall and try to stay for a month), but on New Year's Day I received horrible accusing texts from her about how I've made her look a fool and betrayed her. You'll see from my old thread the very serious things she's exposed me to - homelessness, for example - and the dreadfully damaging lies she told me about my dad.
Writing this, it seems screamingly obvious that I should cut her out, at least for a while. But when I do that (I've done it before for a few months each time), the guilt I feel is tremendous: all she has is me, she has no-one else and I do worry for her safety and health. But this situation cannot continue. Last year, just before the IVF, she turned up on the doorstep unannounced wanting to stay. I can easily see her doing that again. I have enough to deal with as it is; can I, in good conscience, go NC?
Please excuse all typos and errors!
It sounds like you need to, for the sake of your own sanity. At the very least don't tell her anything, no dates for your IVF, nothing. Haven't read your other thread, but just the stuff you've mentioned sounds unbearable.
Thanks Jareth. My other thread would probably make her seem more unbearable still. It's just that I feel such guilt (as well as freedom) when I'm not in contact with her. I should just say, to give some perspective, that her behaviour has given me an anxiety disorder, and that any flare ups in her behaviour have very bad consequences for my day to day well being, even though I live hundreds of miles away from her.
I've just had a look at it. I'm astounded, tbh. How does she react if you don't talk for a while? Just wondering why you feel so guilty about going NC.
I know it's easy to say, but it really sounds like you need to concentrate on your own happiness for a while, and shut her out of your life for as long as you need to.
I made quite a breakthrough with a difficult mother when I did something that put my child in minor danger because of her. I finally got angry! And I developed some self respect. How dare I let my child down out of messed up guilt to someone who doesn't really care? I started saying "get some self respect woman!" When you feel this internally you project it outwards. Why is this person allowed to treat you this way? There not!
As for the guilt. You have been trained to feel guilty from the day you were born. This is a choice as an adult you can now make. Choose to not feel guilty. I know easy to say. But the thing about these messed up situations going down the generations is that you have to be brave and say enough! I am in no way saying you are to blame but as adults we can choose what to do. Choose to end the hurt. Btw I am not saying no contact or stay in contact I have no advice. Maybe if you feel the power you can find a happy medium.
Regarding a job. Do anything. Something. Forget about status and a job with gravitas (wrong word I can't think). Just do something that suits your personality. If you like quiet work in a garden. If you like busy volunteer in a school. We get too hung up on what we should be doing, when we should just "be" a job. Forget about your peers. Waste of energy.
Stop being so hard on yourself. You are just perfect.
Written by a much cleverer person than me...
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Thanks Annie you're very right, I've been trained for guilt since forever. At the same time, if she had other kids, or anyone at all she got on with, I'd feel less guilty I guess. I'm just worried about what she'll do.
Jareth, during past NC periods she has sort of just accepted it, but always on the understanding that I am doing her wrong, you know?
Also if anyone has experience of paranoid personality disorder I'd like to hear from you. Is there any way I can edit my thread title to include that?
Have you looked at FOG (fear obligation guilt)? Have you had any therapy?
If you get some understanding about the effects of this dynamic you can make some sound choices, instead of swinging between extremes eg friends/NC/attendant anxiety
Thanks springy. I'm on a long waiting list for a psychologist st the local MH hospital.
You seem to be taking responsibility for her actions. She has no friends because she is not a nice person to be around.
She is. Not close to anyone because she drives them away.
You are her safety net because you have been so well trained by her to take that responsibility on. So it does t matter how many people she drives away, you will always be there to take her frustration out on.
She is also a grown adult who needs to suffer the consequences of those actions. So let her.
Do look up FOG in the meantime. The website Out of the Fog is a good starting point.
Also Toxic Parents by Susan Forward. There's a lot out there on this op. Most of us have cobbled together our own recovery from toxic relations. Ime of NHS psychologists, though valuable (for eg managing anxiety), there is only so far they can go - it's up to us to do the rest. So you may as well get started!
Can you afford private therapy? Approx £120-£150pm. Some expenses are essential and warrant cutting back on other things.
With your mum I really empathise, it must be extremely difficult, especially with all your other worries going on.
Just read through your first thread.
How did you getting on looking into therapies and other jobs?!
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