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"But we took you to stately homes" part 3

(1001 Posts)
oneplusone Sat 01-Mar-08 14:10:21

Sorry for starting part 3 if it has already been started but i logged on just now and found the previous thread has reached 1000 posts. And my title is not very inspiring, Ally90, please help!

oneplusone Sat 01-Mar-08 14:17:30

I have been at a bit of a loss recently as to how to move forward. I felt my previous counsellor had reached the end of how much he could help me but i was wary of trying to find another counsellor especially after Alice Miller emphasises the importance of finding the right counsellor ie one who has 'worked through' all his/her own childhood issues.

I think i may have found someone, although i haven't spoken to her yet, but from her profile she sounds like the right sort of person.

So, i feel a bit more positive today. I feel like i have a lot of pent up feelings and emotions inside but i can't let them out as there is nobody i can talk to who i feel will understand me. I do find writing things down helps enormously but i think i also need to talk to somebody.

Anyway, i hope you are all doing ok, and i hope somebody finds this thread soon!

kaz33 Sat 01-Mar-08 14:31:03

Found it smile

You obviously have reached a blockage in yourself. I think it is two steps forward, one step back. Maybe you need a break, could you spend the money that you were spending on counselling on something personal - maybe yoga, ta chi, meditation etc... Then return to the counselling renewed and ready for the fight ahead.

I am doing the Hoffman process in less than three weeks and you have a whole raft of very intense pre-process work to do. That has opened up some interesting stuff ie: I am not the person that I think I am - I have copied my fathers aloof and critical behaviour in order to get him to love me and rebelled against all of my mums stuff. The effect has been that I have been sabotaging my own life - the only person I have been hurting is myself sad. Felt very stupid and small last night when I had this revelation.

oneplusone Sat 01-Mar-08 14:45:43

Hi, glad you made it here!

I have heard about the Hoffman process, your DH did it iirc? I will be very interested to hear all about it (if you don't mind) once you have done it. I'm not surprised you have to do lots of work yourself beforehand. I have found this whole process to be so deep rooted, i am constantly thinking i am nearly there, nearly at the 'end' and then i find another layer of 'stuff' underneath what i thought was going to be the last layer.

It definately is 2 steps forward and 1 step back, but i am finding it easier to deal with as i go along as i understand far better what i am going through now than i did even a few months ago.

I have ordered each and every one of Alice Miller's books as i find her work amazingly insightful. Am off to read a bit more now. Hope the others find their way here soon!

oneplusone Sat 01-Mar-08 14:50:07

Kaz, i know what you mean about copying one parent's behaviour and rejecting another parent's, and ending up sabotaging yourself. That is what i was doing without realising it. I think the key is find your own 'true' or 'authentic' self and that person is just you and you alone where you are not copying other people. But that is so much easier said than done.

bearsmom Sat 01-Mar-08 15:32:30

Hi Oneplusone and Kaz, glad a new thread has been started. I'd be lost without it! I haven't posted for a while but have been reading avidly. Christmas was a bit of a flashpoint for me but things have been fairly peaceful since then. My mother sent ds a birthday present, but has left us alone apart from that. I must be getting better because Mother's Day only impacts on me now in the sense that I am one, I don't really think about the fact that I have one too because I've accepted she didn't mother me in the way I needed and has been such a destructive force in my life that I'm far better off without her. It's only rarely that I think, for a split second, "I want my mum", and then I remember what she's like and don't want her anymore! I'm not sure how I've come to be at peace about this, but I think it's mainly this thread and books like Toxic Parents and some of Alice Miller's work that have helped me to see things from a different perspective. And for me distance from her (i.e. no face-to-face or verbal contact, just birthday and Christmas cards) has been the key to how much better I feel about myself these days. I have in the back of my mind that this year I may agree to meet up with her, but I know from what my sister has occasionally said that my mother is still expecting me to apologise and go back to being a "normal" part of the family, including seeing my father (that's never going to happen), but I think I'll need to see her again at some point, I think because I want to test myself to see whether I really have come as far as I think I have. Now I've written this, I'm wondering if that's a bit masochistic, will have to think on it a bit.

I too will be interested to hear about the Hoffman process. I read the book (can't remember the name now, by someone called Philip Lawrence I think??) and loved all but a very small part of it. It made so much sense.

Anyway, hope everyone is well. x

matildax Sat 01-Mar-08 16:33:20

hello, i have found it too!! smile
to ally, thankyou for your post to me on the end of the last thread, i think last night i was just so very very emotional, and reading through the thread, and recognising myself in all of you, some more than others, was really strange. i went to bed and cried my eyes out, well into the early hours!!
my love to you all, you really are inspirational, and by the sounds of it, very very strong. look forward to posting again soon xx

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 01-Mar-08 16:38:39

Hi Ally

Re your question to me:-
"Your mother treating your brother as the favourate isn't new I presume?"

Yes you're right, this has been going on for years now and particularly since I left home.

ally90 Sat 01-Mar-08 16:41:07

Over here! or I will be a billy no mates

Hi Matildax, glad your finding your feelings

Attila...know any reason why she would treat your brother as favourate?

NAB3wishesfor2008 Sat 01-Mar-08 16:44:08

I hate mother's day.

All I can think about is how my mother will be feeling so sad that she has got nothing from me and that it is all my fault. Not that I care about her btw but am sick of being the bad guy.

Still trying to work out what it is she did for me when she said all that was done was done for me.

ally90 Sat 01-Mar-08 16:47:52

Hi Nab

I presume it was your mothers behaviour which drove you away in the first place? She is responsible for her actions, not you.

New thread here

This is soooooo going to confuse, I should have left you in charge oneplusone!

NAB3wishesfor2008 Sat 01-Mar-08 16:49:27

I never lived with her from 15 months but when I have had ocntact I certainly haven't wanted anymore. Not seen her now for 15 years but she still is causing trouble.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 01-Mar-08 16:55:43

Hi Ally

When I was at home I was the eldest good daughter and thus trusted and or left to get on with it. My younger Brother was at that time far more of a handful (used to argue with and or shout at my Mother) and be very demanding, if he said jump they'd say how high. This continues to this day. They still run around after him, my Mother still cleans his house (that all started when she originally moved to my hometown, my Dad was still working full time and she was thus stuck at home bored silly with nothing to do all day. Instead of getting a job and a life, she decided to clean my brother's house). Actually I get on okay with my Brother but I don't see him very often these days.

Think my Mother feels sorry for him as he lives (unsurprisingly) on his own.

Your thoughts are welcome. I gave up on them frankly a long time ago and now have no expectations at all. Easier that way.

Attila

ally90 Sat 01-Mar-08 17:16:54

Oneplusone - you are now in charge grin naturally my setting up another thread was a bit silly blush

Attila - okay so you are the 'capable' one and 'able to look after yourself' whereas brother 'needs looking after'. I guess your brother reminds your mother of someone in her past and she is recreating the relationship. Interesting in my dh's family, his sister seems similar to her maternal grandfather, adulterous, drinks like a fish, verbally aggressive etc...and his mother dotes on her. hmm So it could be your mother is recreating patterns from childhood relationships? Not that this helps you. Would you say you are emotionally divorced from them or do you still get bouts of anger and hurt?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 01-Mar-08 17:32:47

Hi Ally

Re your comments:-

"Attila - okay so you are the 'capable' one and 'able to look after yourself' whereas brother 'needs looking after'. I guess your brother reminds your mother of someone in her past and she is recreating the relationship".

Could be. My Mother is an only child. Both her parents (i.e my grandparents) are now deceased. I do remember my Nan always being kind to us as children and I miss her to this day, infact both my Nan and grandad were kind but my Grandad did sometimes show a harsher side to his nature.

"Interesting in my dh's family, his sister seems similar to her maternal grandfather, adulterous, drinks like a fish, verbally aggressive etc...and his mother dotes on her. hmm So it could be your mother is recreating patterns from childhood relationships? Not that this helps you. Would you say you are emotionally divorced from them or do you still get bouts of anger and hurt?"

In answer to your last question I feel both emotionally divorced from them and hurt although the bouts of both anger and hurt happen less now. It was more acutely felt when my DS was younger. I am only thankful for my wonderful DH and son, both of whom keep me sane along with my real life friends and MN too!.

Think I should read that book called "Divorcing a Parent".

Anyhoo Ally, how are things your end?. Hope your parents are still well at arms length away from you, they are truly toxic individuals.

Attila x

ally90 Sat 01-Mar-08 17:45:54

Tis a wonderful book, Beverly Engel divorced her own mother and is a psychotherapist so she sees it from both perspectives.

She does go through all the detail you need on how to emotionally and physically divorce and work through your childhood feelings etc, can't say I did all that with my divorce but its helpful to read it all.

I'm okay, thanks for the validation about my parents no contact since xmas. None this valentines, but not unusual now, next date will be dh's bday then dd's bday...we'll see if she has learnt no means no... miracles do happen.

ally90 Sat 01-Mar-08 17:48:43

BTW I did add a book thread here if anyone wants to review a book.

vizbizz Sun 02-Mar-08 07:31:33

Sorry, I haven't been on mumsnet in ages and I missed the start of these chats. Can I join you here?

kaz33 Sun 02-Mar-08 08:17:55

Of course all welcome, the other posters have been very kind, thoughtful and helpful.
So please if you are ready let us know what is on your mind?

kaz33 Sun 02-Mar-08 08:24:50

For those interested the Hoffman Process is an 8 day retreat where you have no contact with the outside world. It sounds a bit cultish but isn't as my DH will agree.

My DH before he went on had anger issues, he had never hit the boys but he had scared me a couple of times. He also lacked self esteem and the ability to make relationships. All changed since his return, he can control his temper even when two boys (6,4) are doing there best to wind him up. He is better a partner, the dependency has disapeared and has just had a promotion at work. For him it was I quote "life saving" and our house is a happier more respectful place.

The basis for the course is Negative Love, basically if our basic human right of unconditional love is not met in childhood then we take on our parents traits as way of saying "Look at me, i am just like you - will you love me now". Its a bit more complicated than that, as I will find out shortly grin.

If you are interested more details on their website www.hoffmaninstitute.co.uk

vizbizz Sun 02-Mar-08 10:05:16

am about to go to bed, but in short had an emotionally abusive upbringing, with some physical abuse disguised as "deserved punishment for wrongdoing". I was lucky in that my mother was "the rock". Her love was unconditional, and incredible.

There are some issues I have dealt with, some are still works in progress.

My toxic father has so many issues of his own I pity him his inability to even see that he needs help. (toxic parents is an incredibly apt term, whoever coined it is a genius)

He's the reason I'd like to join in. Most of the time he's not a problem since I live in another country. Some days however, he manages to come up with the most incredible crap it's astonishing. It would be nice to chat with people who understand when he does.

I am happy to share more another time when I am not dropping off to sleep. Thanks for welcoming me.

matildax Sun 02-Mar-08 12:16:22

hello all, hope you are all well,
today is a double whammy for me, it is not only mothers day, but is my mothers birthday also!! my own kids have been wonderful, especially my 5 yr old, who came in to wish me a nice day, every 20 minutes from about 5.30am!!.
i have bought my mum a birthday present, some bubble bath by innoxa, called love and happiness!! its meant to be quite tongue and cheek if thats the right expression, plus her birthday card says happy birthday, hope this day is as magic as you!.

i have not however bought her a mothers day card, and will be dropping of her bithday present with her neighbour, or failing that, i will throw it over her back fence, as i know she is going to my "posh" perfect sisters house for the day. so i wont have to face her.

both my mother and my father were rather cold as i grew up, and favoured all my sisters, cuddling them in front of me, from being very little, and me just sitting there, aching for some "kind" attention.......

oh its a long story, i dont want it to take over my thoughts today, so i will post again soon.
i wish you all, a lovely sunday with your immediate family. lots of love matilda xx

LadyBabo Sun 02-Mar-08 22:03:38

Always avoided buying my mum those 'bestest mum ever in the whole world' type cards, just got her 'happy mothers day,XXX.' I may be a lot of things, but insincere I am not!

toomanystuffedbears Sun 02-Mar-08 23:30:28

Middle Sister called on Friday, left message: "I haven't heard anything (had I given birth yet?) so I thought I'd call and check on you." Pleasant, professional phone voice.
---
My Oldest Sister came up last week to help with the baby-she's here waiting with me. Middle Sister apparently can not get over this...OS here first. Like, how could I choose OS, the black sheep child of the family, over her-the golden one? (OS is a nurse...hmm)
---
So I called her back (at her work), smiles everyone-me pleasant too...
I am fine, etc.
She mentioned that OS said the last time she (MS)talked to her that I'd be induced a couple of days after my due date. I was silent at this wondering when OS and MS talked...pretty long silence(she probably thought I was silent speaking to OS right there-I wasn't, but no matter)...finally I said, "I'm going to be induced on Tuesday."
She doesn't respond to this, instead she moves on to the next question-her conversations with me are a la interviews - or rather her script.

MS asks if OS and I are having fun. I said "I am 3 days past my due date, how much fun do you think I can have? I mean it is not like we are going out partying, MS."
Tersley: MS: "Let me rephrase that."
Again with more acid: "Let me rephrase that..."
"Are you enjoying her company?"
<<<wtf kind of question is that?>>>
I say with a little attitude: "Yes, of course I am enjoying her company; I have always enjoyed her company."
Long silence.
MS says, dripping toxins, "I will talk to you later."
I begin to say, "About Tues..."
MS: "I will talk to you later."
I: "But.."
MS: acid repeat
I: "Fine, bye" and I held the phone away, but let her hang up first.
OS angry shock
Told DH-he angry shock

<<<<Well, MS didn't stay on the victim spot very long- back to persecutor-Bad, TMSB, bad!>>>

So she hasn't called back-48 hours. Time for my email to her (just now):

sub: Change of plans
Dear MS,
"Talk to me later?" Don't bother.
It used to be that you'd offer suggestions and advice for me to use in my circumstances, but now you are in the habit of pushing bossy orders on me and if I choose a different solution or answer you become very angry with me. Until this behavior of yours changes, I am putting our relationship on hold.
The plans we have made for you to be here are canceled. I will invite you to visit when I feel I am ready to cope with you. I will send email if or when there is any news, or photos.
Sincerely,
TMSB

If she does call and if (or whenever) I am feeling cavalier enough to pick up wink- I'll say: "I'm busy, I'll talk to you later." repeat mechanically x3 interrupting her, then hang up.

I thank you all for being here and giving support and guidance. Without you, I probably would have never done that, which I seriously needed to do.
I feel relief. I feel in charge of my circumstances rather than just a respondent to my circumstances, iyswim.
Not only is she not coming here as planned, but I set another boundary of communicating only by email.

Several of the last posts on the previous thread have offered clarity for me- oneplusone, mampam.
Thanks Ally.
And Kaz on "Changing my mind", lol---offering a clue to MS that I have my own mind? MS will undoubtedly jump back to Victim spot on the Drama Triangle and "I changed my mind" will undoubtedly be useful.

Smithfield- I hope you and your family are doing well.
Sakura- I hope your travels are going safely and that you can stay in "monitor mode" while around your family (ie somewhat detached).

Podmog Mon 03-Mar-08 09:04:53

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matildax Mon 03-Mar-08 10:47:14

tomanystuffedbears:... hello, your sister sounds like one of mine!! i think you have done yourself proud with that email.smile
i myself havent really found any courage yet, except we did not even go round to drop the present off, i have not heard a word from her, i must say however i feel quite nasty. even though nasty is something her and one of my sisters have mastered the art of, where i am concerned!!

podmog: i am new also, and i understand your post totally, i feel like i am betraying a dark family secret, by posting on here, and if i get found out, i will get punished severely (i am 41 for christs sake!!),
but the childhood feelings never quite leave you do they?
i still havent told my "story" i think it will take a lot of rambling and snippets before i feel able to do so, but just being here is a massive step, and if you read through the last post, i think you will find others that have pretty much exactly the same feelings and "problems" as you. you are in safe hands smile
hope everyone else is ok, have a good week x

matildax Mon 03-Mar-08 10:48:55

podmog, i mean the last thread not post, i dont know how to put a link to it, but i am sure the others do. have a good day xx

kaz33 Mon 03-Mar-08 12:43:26

This is the last very long thread...

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/7/440839?ts=1204548155869

Mikafan Mon 03-Mar-08 13:18:49

Smithfield,
Just wanted to add my belated best wishes to you on the birth of your DD

This is my first year in not being a hypocrite and buying my mum a "You are a great mum" type card with the accompanying gift that she'd look down her nose at then point at the present that DB or DS had bought her and it feels good

Hope everyone else is ok.

Podmog Mon 03-Mar-08 19:59:06

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LittleBella Mon 03-Mar-08 20:53:35

I've just googled NPD and though neither of my parents fit into it, it ticks every single box of my best friend, whom I've known for 20 years and who is about 15 years older than me.

Hmmm....

oneplusone Tue 04-Mar-08 13:28:54

Hi, Podmog, I have just quickly skimmed through the posts and saw your comment. I have I suppose 'kind of' remembered some deeply suppressed extremely painful memories and feelings. But i also am frightened of how bad it will be once i really allow myself to fully remember and experience the feelings associated with some very traumatic incidents from my childhood. I have allowed some memories to surface and I can't deny that the experience was very painful and involved lots and lots of sobbing on my part sad. BUT in actual fact allowing yourself to experience those feelings is very healing and ultimately allows you to release yourself from your past so it is a good (but painful) thing to go through.

I have (hopefully) found myself a new counsellor who will i hope help and support me whilst i experience some of the worst memories from my childhood. Are you seeing a counsellor?

I would also recommend reading Alice Miller, she's written lots of books all of which are excellent. Her website is also very good alice-miller.com

Well done for posting on this thread, posting on here and reading other people's experiences and comments has helped me enourmously and I'm sure you will find huge support here.

Have to go now, back soon. x

Podmog Tue 04-Mar-08 19:43:39

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kaz33 Tue 04-Mar-08 21:46:17

Podmog - the supression is worse, because even if you think you have broken the cycle you are still affected by what happeneded all those years ago.

Well done for taking the first step, it is a very brave thing to have done. It will be difficult, it will be painful but it will be life transforming for you and your kids.

Big hugs smile

bearsmom Wed 05-Mar-08 10:17:55

Hi Podmog, I'd agree with what oneplusone and kaz say about it being painful to allow the memories to surface but that doing this is very healing and allows you to move on.

In the past year I've had some very painful memories resurface (have not seen or spoken to my mother in 18 months, and my father not for over two years). I'd sort of always known the memories were there, but spent the past 25 years or so trying to deny/ignore them. The recollection was traumatic but I felt so much better afterwards, not least because I could accept the memories as true and reject the part of my brain that had been programmed by my parents to deny that anything was wrong in my childhood (won't repeat my history here as the message would be long! but I posted intermittently quite a lot on the first and second threads and I'm sure their existence saved my sanity). I know there is still lots to remember but I found that I got to a stage where I needed to stop for a while and I think my subconscious is protecting me again (no idea if this makes any sense, hope it does!). It's part of the reason I haven't posted for a while as well. It's like I can deal with a few of the memories and then I have to step back for a while. Then take a deep breath and deal with the next bit. I know when I'm ready to start dealing with the next lot of memories because things start coming back to me again, which is the stage I'm at at the moment. I saw a therapist but she wasn't for me so I'm just getting up the strength to find another one. I think it's been said before on these threads, but if you don't feel comfortable with the therapist, don't be afraid to tell them you don't think you can work together and then try out someone else. Hope it goes well for you. It's a brave step to face these things but 100% worth it.smile

Podmog Wed 05-Mar-08 20:45:28

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Podmog Thu 06-Mar-08 10:41:08

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hanaflower Thu 06-Mar-08 10:52:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ally90 Thu 06-Mar-08 12:29:02

We are all at different stages Podmog, post away. Its always good to read other peoples stories, and your story could help other people who are at the same stage as you...its all valuable knowledge.

oneplusone Thu 06-Mar-08 13:45:00

Podmog, as ally says we are all at different stages and it is most definately 2 steps forward and 1 step back. If i had posted something yesterday i would have sounded fairly together but today i am a mess, have been crying all morning and feel very emotional. So please do not ever feel you are dragging any of us back, we are all here to help and support each other, whatever stage we're at and that is what has made this thread so invaluable to all of us.

The only difference for me now is that i do have some idea of what i'm feeling and why whereas even 3 0r 4 months ago i wouldn't have had a clue.

I have realised that a lot of the anger and rage i sometimes feel towards DD, is not anything to do with her, but to do with emotions that have surfaced from my childhood in relation to when my 2 sisters were born. I realise i must have felt a lot of anger and rage at them for taking my mum away from me and for her giving me less attention and love (although i also know now she didn't even love me in the first place) and the anger i now feel towards DD is the anger from my childhood. The only reason i know this is because i have read so many books on this subject and they have enabled me to realise that having your own DC's sometimes takes you back to your own childhood and you experience emotions in relation to your DC's that you first originally felt towards younger siblings but suppressed at the time.

It has taken me what feels like forever to work this out but I know it's the truth as DD never has and never will do anything to deserve the sheer amount of rage and fury and i am ashamed to say hatred i have felt towards her on occasion. I am sure that these feelings are long suppressed emotions from my childhood in connection to my 2 younger sisters who i must have felt, as a child, 'stole' my mother from me and also who she seemed to love and want far more than she ever loved or wanted me. I am sure that my natural reaction to my 2 sisters when i was a child would have been anger that they were there, and hatred towards them for 'spoiling' my family which would, before my sisters were born, have been just me and my mum and dad meaning that i got all the attention and 'love' that every child needs and craves from it's parents. I was nearly 5 when my middle sister was born and 7.5 when my youngest sister was born so i had nearly 5 years of being an 'only' child. It must have been a huge shock to my system when not only was my middle sister was born but my mum was 'besotted' with her and bonded with her in a way she never had with me. Their relationship is close to this day whereas my mum and i were always distant and i never felt any closeness or bond with her although this is what i know i have longed for all my life.

A few months ago i thought that the rage i felt towards DD was suppressed childhood rage at my mum but i don't think that was right as i don't think i ever felt real rage as a child towards my mum, only confusion, pain, longing for her love and anguish but not rage. But i am sure i felt rage towards my 2 sisters and i am sure that i suppressed that rage and it is coming out now triggered by DD. I never seem to feel that way towards DS and i don't know if that is because i don't have any brothers.

After feeling very angry i have found that other emotions start to surface, usually sadness, pain, anguish and grief. And that is how i am feeling today, very low, but i have been through this a few times now and i know it's a good thing to get the feelings out. It's just very difficult to do when you're alone at home with nobody for company but the DC's and i try not to cry in front of them as of course it upsets them. Ideally i need a live-in counsellor!

Am sorry for my extremely long ramble, but i have posted all this as i feel it might somehow help some of you who i know have also experienced rage towards your DC's where you know it's all 'you' and not them.

oneplusone Thu 06-Mar-08 13:57:11

bearsmom, everything you say makes sense to me and is pretty much what i've been going through. i hope you find a good therapist. I have spoken to 3 and i am going to 'try' them out next week and hopefully one of them will be right.

i have also found my eczema flares up when my anger comes to the surface and the eczema has almost become a sign to me that 'something's' happening in my head/emotionally as my body seems to know before my head does that there are some suppressed emotions that are about to come to the surface. Weird but true. smile

Podmog Thu 06-Mar-08 14:08:46

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Podmog Thu 06-Mar-08 14:10:25

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NAB3wishesfor2008 Thu 06-Mar-08 14:11:14

I am really fed up today. I keep hearing noises in the house. Have so much going on and I hate my mother.

Podmog Thu 06-Mar-08 14:18:28

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totalmisfit Thu 06-Mar-08 14:20:17

oneplusone - poor you. i have also felt the rage you describe. for me it comes from no-where, perhaps just the small everyday irritations of living with a 2 yr old. but it's completely out of proportion to the reality of her 'naughty' behaviour, and sometimes she hasn't even really done anything at all. it's a scary thing to feel actually. you say you've read some good books on the subject - do you mind me asking which ones? I really feel this is something I need to investigate as I'm not entirely sure who i'm angry at. Could be my younger brother, could be my parents. not sure.

Sakura Thu 06-Mar-08 14:28:53

Attila, I read the post you wrote about the way your mother treats you and then the way in which she treats your brother. If it helps, its quite clear that this different treatment is not because she loves him more than she loves you but because for whatever reason, he is easier to control. Cleaning up after someone all the time is not helping- its enabling. She's enabling him to live like a slob so that he continues to "need" her and so that she continues to have an important role and she can feel gratified that she is needed by someone. Its a little dance and has absolutely nothing to do with love.
"The COntinuum concept" and "Letting Go as Children Grow" (based on the COntinuum concept) talk about this. THat a child's room will continue to remain messy as long as the parent does not empower the child. For example as a child my room was always in a state- a real mess, and yet since I've cut off my mother, I now have a routine and am as tidy as you can be with a 1 year old. Its because I am in control of my space, my kitchen and my life. My mother would sporadically enter my room and do a spring clean while I was out (rifling through my stuff while she was at it). I would feel violated after one of her 'spring cleans'. But never once did she show me how to use the washing machine. In fact if I took it upon myself to tidy something, she'd shout "LEave THAT! I'll do THAT" as if I was steppping on her toes or something hmm.
On the first thread, Greensleeves called this "camping out in my own life" i.e not organising your space and cupboards in a way that makes sense to you. This could well be how your brother feels about all of this.

bearsmom Thu 06-Mar-08 14:37:32

Hi Podmog, please post whenever you feel like it. And don't worry if you don't feel like posting for a while. People on these threads often take a break when things get too much, but someone is always here for support which I know for me has been a godsend. We're all at different stages, but I don't think any of us would ever forget how it felt to start out on this journey. My realisation that my childhood wasn't normal was an incredible shock too, as my parents managed to convince us all that we were the perfect family and that what went on was absolutely normal. I still cannot relate to a normal father/daughter relationship, for example, which is one of the things I have yet to resolve. I can't really see an end to this "journey" of sorting out my past and stopping it from ruining my present and future but at least I'm moving in the right direction, rather than stuck in my awful family. Sorry, not very articulate but ds wants me to play with his farm and is getting v. annoyed with me so I must go! Take care of yourself.

NAB, sorry you're having a rotten day today. Hope it gets better.

ally90 Thu 06-Mar-08 21:06:27

Oneplusone - I get eczema too when stressed, broke out a while ago, not sure why but I did wonder if something was going on subconciously.

TMSB - Was it this week you were going to be induced? You've been quiet for a few days...!! Thinking of you xx p.s. your post about your ms made me laugh again...good for you sending that email!

Sakura- I do believe we have the same mother...she too did the springclean/rifling through my belongings...not letting me help wiht housework 'let me do IT!'...then she wondered why I refused to help with housework when I was older hmm I too was not taught anything which was strange with her obcession of housework, but it could have been a way of making sure me and my sister would always need her, same as my dad not telling us how to do DIY stuff, they were always 'too' happy to help with these things. I do the FlyLady thing now on the housekeeping thread seeing as I was never taught by my mother how to keep a house clean/how to clean hmm. The FlyLady website is very good too...its very into overriding the negative parent voice in your head that says that your house will never be good enough/clean enough.

Totalmisfit and oneplusone - I feel rage at other peoples children. I think I put the mother into my mothers place and the dc into my sisters place and the relationship replays. I feel like raising a hand to the child, luckily I have always raised my voice instead and got angry at the child. But the rage I feel!! I literally get the blood rush to my head...I guess that is suppressed anger from the blatently unfair way my mother treated my sister and I. My sister could get away with anything yet when I did something my mother and father came down hard on me because I wasn't sensitive like my sister...and the fact that I was easy to quash...my sister when she wanted to could tell them what to do...maybe I should do a session with the therapist on this one!

Hi Hanaflower, not said hello yet!

Nab, what was wrong in the house today?

Sakura Thu 06-Mar-08 22:39:51

I'll have to give that Flylady a look, esp on tips about overriding the negative parent voice. Thanks ally

matildax Fri 07-Mar-08 11:35:18

hello all,
still felling pretty low and very emotional, i think this is the emergency stage or something, so my psychologist called it, I found therapy very draining, even though my last one was really good, i just could not handle the few days after and the panic attacks,especially having the little ones to look after. and such like.
however i do think at some point i will have to return, to come to the resolution, "acceptance" stage that i was told of. i would just like to point out, i did not mean all councellors were dangerous, although i did meet one many years ago, and she was very damaging to me.
ally90, of course hugs are ok!! and thanks for sending me one, smile all of you, have a happy positive friday, and a lovely weekend xx

ally90 Fri 07-Mar-08 12:30:45

Hi Matildax, sorry you had a few bad days, but those days should hopefully start leading to good days in the future, hard to go through those days though...esp with LO's around...

I'm having one of those days today. Friends are the issue today. Discussed with therapist about my friends problem. I seem to be projecting my mother and sister roles onto them. Even tho discussed this all with therapist on wed night, today I open myself up to ridicule and critisim again today with a friend. angry We do have nice chats, but I always say something to provoke a reaction from her. Its like some kamikarzi urge! Lemming like I see an opportunity for someone to jibe at me about something I feel is v important and just go for it...angry. I don't know whether to distance myself from my friend and our mutual friend or to try and set some boundries...but because I'm scared of setting boundries...bit of a vicious circle. If only I could stay in adult...I'm going to have to go back to the chant I had when around my family 'adult adult adult adult'!!

Feel a bit better for that...I know that I am making the best informed decisions for myself and my family and if people disagree that is their lookout. In future I'm just going to have to think 'adult' and bite my tongue alot! And praise myself for being a bit different to everyone else, I may seem to think too deeply about things, but people generally in the end agree I've made the right choice...just takes them a long time to break out of their narrow minded ways to see it!

and calm.... honestly. Some people are IDIOTS! Sorry, their behaviour is idiotic...they are okay as people grin grin grin Now I feel better...!

Rant over!

toomanystuffedbears Fri 07-Mar-08 13:15:47

Hi all,
DD2 arrived safely on Tuesday. Everything went well-3 pushes and she was out.
Oldest Sister was in shock dd2 came so quick. grin
DH was out with ds & dd1 and arrived 10 min late, which was actually good for ds & dd1. I was not bothered at all that he 'missed' it. I didn't have much trouble being glad MS wasn't there, as she'd made a big deal out of it.

Middle Sister has not been communicated with yet...maybe I'll copy her on a brief email to others.
After the Friday "I'll talk to you later" phone conversation, MS terminated my rider card on her shopper warehouse membership. Oooooh, such punishment, she is acting like a jilted lover. (I sent the email on Sunday before I found out about it on Mon.) OS & I agreed: more clarity. wink

I'll catch up reading posts since 3-4.
Thanks again for all your kind thoughts, encouragement, and validation.
Got to go,
TMSB

Sakura Fri 07-Mar-08 13:22:49

Oooh, TMSB, I just got a little shiver at reading your post smile. Congratulations. IT sounds like the birth was fabulous smile smile. 3 pushes!! Must be because it was your second. ENjoy your baby.

Sakura Fri 07-Mar-08 13:28:23

Ally, hmmm, friends.
I was part of a really toxic group during school looking back now. I think Pages discussed this in the first thread- about how we were only attracted to people who must have had issues because the "normal" people appeared boring to us. We needed people who had what seemed like an edge to them, and edge of unhappiness I suppose.
I wonder if this friend was one you've had since before you started working through everything. If so, theres a chance she's probably not good for you. I'm not saying cut her out, but perhaps just keep her at arms length and don't expect too much from her.
I always had a "best friend" (and what a toxic term that is). We were co-dependant, basically. I broke away from that group and believe I couldn't have married DH and followed the path I have done if I was still involved with them because my need for their approval was so strong. If they hadn't have liked my future husband to be, I would probably have been swayed by their opinion.

ally90 Fri 07-Mar-08 13:44:59

Congratulations TMSB grin And well done, 3 pushes!! Lots of hugs to you and your new baby! Really pleased for you, and so proud you have managed to distance your ms at such an important time for YOU and the baby! xxxx

Mikafan Fri 07-Mar-08 13:47:16

Congrats TMSB - now go and relax

ally90 Fri 07-Mar-08 13:52:02

Sakura, she's a recent friend...but kind of got sucked into the friendship by another new friend who befriended me...tbh I'm not truly comfortable with any of the people I have made friends with from going to mother and toddler groups. Always feel a real reserve around them and at times stupidly childish. I know there are invitations for me to act that way...but I really need not accept all of them!! I think part of me is always hoping they will validate my decision to go no contact with my family, feel a bit like a dog trying to please the master...or the child trying to please their mother! Really need a jolt on this part of my behaviour...need my lightbulb moment!!

NAB3wishesfor2008 Fri 07-Mar-08 14:00:31

ally90 I kept hearing noises and I am sure things get moved. I know I am being paranoid as my biggest fear is my mother turning up so I think she has when it really isn't likely.

kaz33 Fri 07-Mar-08 19:10:51

TMSB - well done, we have our own post natal thread grin

smithfield Sat 08-Mar-08 11:49:06

Hi - wanted firstly to say thankyou for all your lovely posts. You brought tears to my eyes with your kind words. Happy hormonal tears, that is.

TMSB- CONGRATULATIONS grin grin grin! Sounds like we had similar experiences. I too was induced and then had a rapid delivery, 3 pushes here aswell, and DH 'almost' missed it. He arrived as she was crowning!

I have been keeping up with the posts... and my goodness there have been some really interesting, thought provoking posts.

Sakura- your response to Attila, really struck me.

I have as you know issues with the way my parents have treated my sister. They always take her side and have supported her financially, and continue to do so now even though she is almost 30.
As a result she has never had to work, and yet wants for nothing (drives the latest sports cars, has a mobile fully paid for, designer clothes).

I think as you say though, this is about control. As long as she is bought and paid for they can control her, so they enable her finacial dependancy on them in order to maintain that control. That's not love.

I on the other hand always wanted to make my own way. I was always punished for my independance, by the withdrawal of any support by them. Sound similar to yourself Attila.

I also recognise where much of this stems from...with my father at least. He had a sister (he no longer speaks to her) She was favoured by his parents.

I think my father replicates this relationship with his daughters. He did initially with me ( I too was given a car etc) But as soon as I became independant I was pushed aside and my sister took my place. I feel this is a position she covets and often blocks direct communication between myself and my father.

Kaz- you said about the course you will be going on and how the foundation belief of that course is that we mimic characteristics of the parent we most want to please/ gain a connection with.

I never thought about this before as I thought I grew up hating my mother, but thinking about it now I believe all along I desperately wanted her to love me. The hatred, aggression came later as a defence to the hurt and pain she caused by being continually rejected/ disaproved of by her. And anger that she never had the ability to love or bond with me.

So it follows that I have definately taken on her personality traits ( and these are not particularly pleasant parts of my personality either). But something to work on for me.

Someone also mentioned (ally I think) the sibling role. As in seeing dc's as our siblings. I posted on here a while back about the rage a felt at ds crying as a baby, mostly when I could not soothe him and wondered if this linked to a memory of being left in a car with my brother as a baby when he was screaming. I was 6 and it felt like we were left for ages (even if it wasnt) and I felt rage toward him at that moment and then also resentment at being left with him when I didnt have resources to deal with him or soothe him.

Also someone posted about being an 'only child initially'. I was an only child until I was six when db came along and then 4 years later ds and younger db (twins). Those first six years were traumatic for me, there was no love or attention and my father left us for some time. So I must have resented in some way the arrival of my siblings when I had still had no love or nurturing from my parents, yet here was another vying for that love and nurturing I was craving. I have intense feelings of jelousy in many areas of my life and I think may be this is where it all stems from.

I havent been able to connect with feelings about this at all but I feel there is perhaps an enormity of unacknowledged feelings around the arrival of siblings. Some of which may be re-surfacing now.

Since giving birth to dd, I have had nightmares regarding ds. I wont go into them now, but I feel they symbolise fears I have about losing my relationship with him. I have had to spend a lot of time with dd, trying to get breatfeeding going and I feel she is pulling me away from ds.
I look at ds and feel sadness and I wonder if am projecting my own feelings onto him?? Or if they are real. It's very confusing.

I also suddenly feel guilt is that I never truly bonded with him. Yet again I feel am I projecting this? It's very confusing.
I did have PND with Ds, and I have always found it difficult to just 'spontaneously' play with him.. although I have fought against these feeling as much as possible of course....so some of my feeling are real, but Im wondering why it has come to the fore so much more now?

Anyway- I also wanted to say 'overall' things are good here. We texted family with news of dds birth.

My mother contracted shingles as a repsonse to dd's birth wink. it's ok....you have all taught me too well to fall for that one. But also think she is slipping as even Middle DB said 'apparently' she has shingles. But that also I feel she shot herself in the foot a bit coming up with a contagious illness this time hmm. She sid however send some lovely flowers and chapagne which I will write and thank her for, and send a picture of dd at the same time.

DD's birth was Incredibly calm and quick enough that I finally got my wish to have a natural birth. Which also meant I got to hold my little girl and feed her straight away.
That had been the most painful part of my previous labour as ds was whisked away to special care, while I was left on a recovery ward not knowing what was happening. all Id wanted at the time was to hold him sad
So this 'was' a very healing experience.

Without the spectre of my mother hanging over me I have also been able to do things my ways this time.

So feeding on demand, and no dummies or schedules. Yes its tough, and I do have moments when I want to yell and scream, because as Danae so poignantly wrote...at times I feel my own unmet needs surface. I feel angry and resentful that she wants to be on my breast 'yet' again.

But I do see the benefits of unconditionally meeting her needs and how happy and settled she has become in a short space and this helps me overide those feelings (well for the most part...).

So I will sign of now, but I wanted to add (if you've managed to read this far!)
...
a hello to the newcomers and to say (especially to Podmog), dont give up.

Its a difficult complicated task, but it brings with it the greatest rewards. Yes everyone here is at a different point in their journey, but it is a continual learning process and what this thread brings is the benefit of everyones experience. Oftentimes that will open your eyes to realisations for yourself which will in turn help you along that difficult journey. And also the benefit of the much needed support, fro those who understand the complexity of that journey.

ally90 Sat 08-Mar-08 12:14:50

Smithfield - welcome back!! grin

Re love then anger hatred towards mother, thanks for that...validates my experience too

Difficulty bonding with ds...thanks again...and how you feel about dd now...yep...thanks again. Its so hard to have so many confusing feelings and have no sleep and raging hormones...everything seems so much worse. Does ds seem happy in himself? Is he old enough to ask what he wants? Like what someone said here, what do I do that you like, what do I do that you don't like?...good questions to ask in an okay way.

Remember it will all seem overwhelming at the moment...so much to cope with, and no nurturing from a mother (well not that you got much last time hmm). You are doing the best you can, you are a 'good enough' mum, not perfect but 'good enough' (as my therapist keeps telling me!). At least you are aware your ds may have feelings about his new sister. Remember you are paving the way for your dd's future now too, so that in itself is draining. Only too easy to shut a door and sleep through the crying.

You can do this, focus on the good you do for both your dc and yourself. You have permission not to be too hard on yourself for the next few months .

Sending lots of hugs and warm fluffy muslin cloths your way xxxx

NAB3wishesfor2008 Sat 08-Mar-08 17:54:06

I would love 5 minutes with my mum so I can say all I want to say and I hate myself for wanting that and for wanting a mum when she has been awful to me.

Chose her men man over me.
Where I was happy, caused trouble so I had to be moved.
Where I was really unhappy didn't make any contact.
Threatened suicide if I didn't invite her to my wedding.
Told my Nan my husband was nothing.

bearsmom Sat 08-Mar-08 18:07:51

TMSB, just wanted to add my congratulations! smile

ally90 Sat 08-Mar-08 18:21:00

Nab, there is nothing wrong with wanting your mum, or rather possibly, a mum that was nurturing...just very sad for you and all of us that we do not have that.

There is no need to hate yourself for wanting 5 minutes to tell her what you feel about her. You have every right to be angry. And every right to be angry face to face. If you did something wrong with one of your dc, would you rather they were angry to you and got it out of their system and you give them a positive response ie listen and acknowledge and apologise, or for them to suffer in silence like you, fearing what response they would get?

Her behaviour seems very focused on getting all the attention on her and away from you. Deliberately seeking you out when she gave you up in the first place to deliberately sabatarge your life is the behaviour of somone very disturbed, or as Attila says 'mad as a box of cut snakes'. I'm not saying disturbed in a dangerous way (something I feared of my mother at my worst points) but someone seeking to make life difficult and unpleasant for everyone around herself.

HTH, got to go and have tea now, but had to reply to your post as it made me feel so sad for you. xxx

NAB3wishesfor2008 Sat 08-Mar-08 18:24:19

She really does not care a jot about me. I haven't spoken to her in years and I can't remember thelast time but it is over 10 years.

ally90 Sat 08-Mar-08 18:27:00

You still want her to change? And one day she will come back and be the mum you always wanted and needed?

NAB3wishesfor2008 Sat 08-Mar-08 18:28:29

She will never change. I am 36 so she must be about 55. My husband would never let her in our lives and that is fine. I just want to make her face up to her actions but she never would and tbh it wouldn't achieve anything at all.

I only lived with her until I was 15 months anyway.

ally90 Sat 08-Mar-08 18:53:49

Just look at what you just typed again...

"I only lived with her until I was 15 months anyway."

It sounds as if you are dismissing your abuse. Because that is what it was, emotional abuse and emotional neglect.

But I could have misunderstood your sentance...

NAB3wishesfor2008 Sat 08-Mar-08 19:20:19

I meant it wasn't like she had been there for a long time and then I had left home.

ally90 Sun 09-Mar-08 16:34:32

Does it matter that you didn't live with her? Your still scared now at the thought of her coming near your house. When I read about your past I was/am quite horrified at the lengths a 'mother' would go to to destoy her childs chance at happiness. No wonder you are so worried she will turn up now, when she did it whenever you were happier as a child.

Did she every turn up unexpectedly at a foster home?

toomanystuffedbears Sun 09-Mar-08 18:26:46

Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and encouragement.

Thanks also for your insights and grounded guidance because I received an "apology" letter from MS and I probably would have fallen for it if I didn't know what it was really saying.

This is hand written snail mail:
(perhaps to set me straight that email is rude and impersonal?)

Dear TMSB,
Obviously I have offended you in some way and for that I am sorry.
I have been trying to figure it out for some time and have been unable to do so.
I also have not directly addressed it to you before as I didn't want to upset you further.

Please, when you can, let's talk.
By the way, I hope that everything went as well as expected and both you and DD2 are doing well.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Love always,
MS
-----------
She has not acknowledged my email (relationship on hold) and would not do a return receipt as requested...but from this letter I am presuming she read it.
-----------
I see this as the unapologetic apology- "in some way"...
"obviously"- well, what does it take for her to realize her effect-no self awareness until the relationship is angry. I am glad something regarding my feelings is finally obvious to her.
Line 2- unable to figure it out...of course, from her universe, she won't be able to will she?
Line 3- oh, TMSB is the sensitive one, so patronizing and condescending.

Let's talk? There really isn't any talking to her because if the conversation doesn't go her way, she ends it.

My baby and I- just 'by the way'? Diminished again.

Look forward to hearing from me? WTF is this: a cover letter for a job...she-boss, TMSB-employee.
-----------
Also: the day after coming home from the hospital:
MS called here and DH answered. Was the baby born? (Tuesday); is OS still there? (no) can she speak to TMSB? (no, she's asleep and I don't want to wake her) [end of conversation-nothing else-no what did the baby weigh, color hair, did I have natural birth or a C-section, etc.] It was all about the sibling rivalry, matriarchal control.

OS received a message from her (tersely) to return her call. OS did, to get it over with, as she predicted that she'd be blamed by MS for ??? my behavior?
Sure enough.
Why wasn't MS invited down for the weekend when we spoke last Friday? OS said I was about to invite her until she got so nasty on the phone and hung up on me. MS then claimed that it was I who hung up on her. OS stood her ground and said she heard my half of the conversation and saw me hold the phone out so (you) could hang up first. TMSB did not hang up on you. (no response to that)...
so next item...
Why was MS not called when the baby was born? Tbh, I had thought about calling her, but that was an old reflex from childhood training and to be able to resist it at such a time as immediately after delivery...well, I am kind of proud of myself. But OS saw that it bothered me, so she offered to call which would have been a huge gesture on her part for me. OS said the truth: she offered to call for me, and I told her no. Then MS was totally mad that OS didn't go behind my back and call her anyway. shock
MS then used the 'control from beyond the grave' card (as I predicted) and lectured OS that Dad said she (MS) would be the one to 'keep the family together' (after his death) by her being the one to make compromises. OS and I really are having a hard time coming up with an example of when she EVER made a compromise -she is always black and white: her way or the highway.

Any thoughts or comments for a reply will be appreciated.
Initially, I am going to copy the 'relationship on hold' letter and add the birth announcement to it as an addendum. Just the facts.

Yes, this did upset me and yesterday was not good because of hormones and serious fatigue.
But it is also more clarity. And DH is finally telling me what he really thinks of her shock grin.
If she can't figure it out on her own, perhaps I should suggest what she always does when she can't do something by herself-seek the help of a professional. If/when I ever suggest she seek counseling, she'll definitely "blow another head gasket" (OS's term grin).
Got to go-sorry I didn't edit or preview this time.

I hope everyone is doing well. Hello to the newcomers-take care-we are all on your side.

TMSB

kaz33 Sun 09-Mar-08 19:21:29

TMSB - well done, your post speaks of strength and clarity. Go and give that gorgeous baby of yours a hug grin

It reminds me of my mum, poor me and the total absence of any understanding of how much she has hurt me sad.

NAB3wishesfor2008 Sun 09-Mar-08 19:24:46

Ally90

She would turn up unannounced where I was living and expect to just to be bale to take me out. She would also cancel when I was meant to see her at short notice. One time I had been to her house for the day and when the social worker came to pick me up, my mother told her she had only had to hit me once that day.

She used to phone, etc and cause trouble as she didn't want me to be happy with anyone else. I lived with one foster family who were lovely to me and I called the father Dad. She didn't like that and said I had to stop. Eventually I had to be moved. Thanks to someone on here I got their new address and we are in touch. They had kept photos of me for 30 years and have sent them to me. It means a lot as I didn't have any.

ally90 Sun 09-Mar-08 19:37:40

Hi TMSB! Honestly, last thing you need is that letter!

Umm...you told her what was wrong in the email you sent...

"Dear MS,
"Talk to me later?" Don't bother.
It used to be that you'd offer suggestions and advice for me to use in my circumstances, but now you are in the habit of pushing bossy orders on me and if I choose a different solution or answer you become very angry with me. Until this behavior of yours changes, I am putting our relationship on hold.
The plans we have made for you to be here are canceled. I will invite you to visit when I feel I am ready to cope with you. I will send email if or when there is any news, or photos.
Sincerely,
TMSB"

Would of thought that covered the first two paragraphs of her letter???

She's taken the 'blinkered' approach...! Deny your experience/reality, assert ms experience/reality.

Looks like you have it all under control tho.

Love the lack of interest in your wellbeing re phone call, and the checking up if OS there first...lord, how old is she?

Think OS is great, re her asserting your reality. (Pat on back to her from Ally!! That's the kind of sister you deserve!!). Enjoying the 'control beyond the grave' did you ever watch "Only Fools and Horses"? Your in US? The eldest son always said 'before mum died she said...' and it was always to suit his circumstances at the time...Should be on YouTube if you had time (ho ho with baby?!!) to view!

Your doing really well TMSB, putting your needs and wants first. OS and your dh seem to really be there for you too...very important that.

Sending hot fluffy towels your way for the hormones and fatigue. Take care of yourself Allyxxxx

smithfield Mon 10-Mar-08 10:08:04

Ally

You can do this, focus on the good you do for both your dc and yourself. You have permission not to be too hard on yourself for the next few months .

Thankyou- so need to hear this.

It's like there are so many layers to be peeled away. The layer of the past child that didnt recieve the love and nurturing and so finds great difficulty 'at times' of providing it to dc's now as an adult.

Then there is the layer consisting of the long held negative script, which constantly berates and undermines any efforts to conciously parent our dc's in the most positive way we can.

The latter continuallly throws up our slip ups and says 'no your not good enough' sorry and stamps a big failure mark over the whole experience, regardless of the good to be found amongst said slip ups.

In answer to you questions re ds, he seems as happy as a lark. Says how he loves his little sister, that she is 'so cute mummy', and wants to hug and kiss her at every moment.

I think some of the guilt comes from me having been in a different place emotionally when I had him as a baby, and also the changes in my parenting toward him in just the last few months (since being on this thread, seperating from my parents) have been immense.

I realised despite conciously giving him the physical affection I never got, 'unconciously' 'by not playing with him as much as I could', there was still a level of emotional unavailability to me. I am still working on it though and will continue to.

So of course you then ponder on what damage you may have caused so far.

But I looked at baby pictures of ds y'day. And he looked so happy, so content, and when held by me or dh so loved. You are right I have to take a deep breath and say 'Im human I did/am doing the best I can for both my dc's' and I will continue to monitor, correct, improve my parenting'

But thanks for the validation, it is much needed.

BTW re your sister- I read Something interesting about where ther is a toxic mother and two girls the two girls often split their mothers personality. One takes one side of their mother's personality and so the other takes the remaining part/or flip side.
Do you relate to that at all? I know I do, just wondered if it was true for you.

TMSB- Hugs for you- Yes this 'is' the very last thing you need.

I have to say it was recieved with great relief that no-one contacted me after dd's birth. We had reply texts from everyone, and there was no further response from us. That was just what I desired/needed after. So I know how upsetting this kind of contact must be for you.

The thing that strikes me most is the level of self centredness that surrounds this. Narcissm at its best. Not holding off til things have settled for you but making sure that a message, laden with guilt for how 'your' behaviour has affected 'her' has landed on your doorstep so soon after the birth.
Makes me angry tbh.

I like ally's response.
You could also consider not responding at all. Focus your energy's on your new little one instead and let her stew. You can respond when you are good and ready and not before.

But of course this all rests on how you feel it should be tackled. Go with your instincts and you will always have support here whatever you choose. xxx

oneplusone Mon 10-Mar-08 14:46:59

smithfield, as usual i have very little time but i can totally relate to feeling guilty at being in a different place emotionally when i had DD as compared to DS. I know i wasn't emotionally available to DD in her earliest most crucial years and I know the longing she must have felt for her mummy to be there for her and let her know she was loved, needed and wanted. I know this is how she must have felt as a baby as this is how I felt as, without knowing or realising it, when i had my DD I repeated the pattern that my mum had followed when she had me. As i've already mentioned i know my mum probably had PND, she didn't bond with me or love me in the way that i needed her to love me. I know i repeated this behaviour with DD and I think it was you that suggested to me a while ago that DD could be a 'portal' for me to my own feelings from childhood and indeed that is exactly what has happened.

HOWEVER, all of the above would very negative and depressing for perhaps both of us but for the absolutely CRUCIAL difference between us and our mothers. Although we may not have been emotionally aware to our first born DC's and unintentionally caused damage to them, we have since become completely and totally aware of ourselves, we have insight and we therefore will not and simply cannot continue, as my mum did, with a lifetime of emotional distance and lack of bond with our first born DC's. And Alice Miller says that even if damage was caused in a child's early years, the effects of that damage can be completely and utterly minimised if the mother does gain awareness and insight and can from then on be emotionally available to our DC's as I think we are both now learning to do.

I think it will always be a learning process with me and DD, whereas with DS, with whom I felt an instant bond, there is nothing to learn, the feelings are there and, at the risk of sounding dramatic, emotionally i belong to my son. Our first born children also have the benefit of loving and caring fathers which I may have had initially but not always and so I have such hope and optimism for both my DC's, despite the differences in their first few minutes, months and years, they will be loved and cherished all their lives by me and their dad and this is what will make all the difference between their childhood and mine. I am sure everything i have said is true for you and your family too, so please don't feel the guilt or constantly analyse your DS's behaviour (admittedly i was doing exactly the same not so long ago) and just enjoy your two gorgeous miracles, your constant love will heal any damage that was inadvertantly caused before you had the insight you have now.

Again sorry for such a long and rambling post, i hope you can understand what i'm trying to say. x

oneplusone Mon 10-Mar-08 14:55:49

TMSB - congratulations on the birth of your DD. And well done for keeping yourself and your family safe from your MS at the most important time.

As the other's have said, you must put your own needs and wants FIRST, before those of your MS. Look after yourself, you deserve it, and your children need you to focus your emotional and physical energies on them, they are totally dependent on you, your MS is an adult you can fend for herself.

Sorry if i sound harsh, but this is what i have to tell myself when i find myself getting drawn into my own middle sister's life too much. I have set a mental boundary for myself, my MS is an adutl and is responsible for herself, I am not responsible for her. It's very hard to do I know.

oneplusone Mon 10-Mar-08 15:07:52

totalmisfit (you're not btw, you fit in perfectly!) sorry for taking so long to get back to you, busy with kids etc.

As anyone that 'knows' me on this thread the books I have read have all been by Alice Miller. I can't remember in which one she mentions about us somehow transferring our childhood feelings of rage at our siblings onto our DC's, but it could possibly have been the Drama. Are you familiar with Alice Miller? I have read and re-read her books countless times over the past year or so and it is only by re-reading that i notice things in her books that i may have missed first time around. The mention of siblings is only one or two lines iirc, but it stuck in my mind and surfaced again recently when i found myself feeling complete rage at my poor DD for some utterly minor thing she had done. What i felt was completely out of proportion to her behaviour and my feelings, like yours, seemed to come out of nowwhere. I feel soooooo guilty as i have done this more times than i care to remember and it is only recently that i have come to realise where the rage comes from. I always apologise to DD afterwards but it does nothing to ease my guilt and anguish at the injustice she has suffered because of me. sad

Btw, Alice Miller has a great website alice-miller.com

JingleyJen Mon 10-Mar-08 15:10:54

Hi there,
just wanted to say a big thank you, I have read all your postings without comment until now.
I am learning through your shared experiences that I need to be my own person with my parents and stop acting like a frightened teenager.
In the last month I have handled things totally differently with my family and feel so good (if a bit scared) by it.
May go back to lurking but really wanted to let you know that others lurk and are helped. Jen x
ps Congratulations on your new baby TMSB

oneplusone Mon 10-Mar-08 18:36:14

Hi Jingleyjen, I did the same when i first found the original thread. I even printed it off, all 200 pages!

Have you read the other 2 threads as well?

I am glad the thread has helped you, it has helped me so much, i was so happy when I found it. Keep lurking or posting or both, whichever you prefer! x

oneplusone Mon 10-Mar-08 18:44:48

Yesterday I felt like i had to emotionally 'let go' of my youngest sister. We never had a close relationship growing up and until now i think i was clinging on to the hope that somehow now things would be different and we would suddenly be close. I think i am longing for some sort of closeness with someone in my family, i know it will never be with my parents so that only leaves my 2 sisters. I am in touch with my middle sister but i think she has her own reasons for being in touch with me and it's nothing to do with wanting a real relationship with me. I think she holds a grudge against me for cutting off my parents, who she feels sorry for (just like in the drama triangle, my parents are the 'victims', my sisters are their 'rescuers' and of course i am the 'persecutor'). I am sure she sees me as the baddie but for some reason she is willing to overlook that fact as she needs me as she has nobody else to talk to/confide in.

It was very sad letting go of any real hope of a relationship with my youngest sister, i think she is the one who is least damaged out of all of us, and is therefore the most genuine and authentic sibling. But neither of them have any idea of just what i have been going through over the last 18 months (i feel i have been on a crash course in psychology/families/dysfunctionality) whereas they have no knowledge on the subject. I don't even think they have any real idea that ours was a highly dysfunctional family.

JingleyJen Mon 10-Mar-08 18:48:04

have only read this one..
I avoided the other threads because I knew they touched on things that I wasn't ready to face.
I am just so determined to not turn into my mother that I will do anything and facing things is a start.
My sister and I had a great talk about how things were and how they are getting worse as we are getting older and it clicked. Our Mother is finding it hard to cope with the fact that my sister is stronger than she was (she is just divorcing her husband - My Mum put up with my dad cheating twice) and according to my sister Mum is finding it hard to cope with me being a better mum than she was. All of her recent toxic behaviour (great phrase) is to punish us for being and doing things that she never could.
Anyway enough from me for now.. <heads back to the darkest corner of the room>

toomanystuffedbears Mon 10-Mar-08 18:57:54

Hi Ally, Smithfield, oneplusone and all,
Well, I thought I emailed MS back yesterday and put 'save a copy' for my sent file, but it didn't show up and I wonder if my missive was sent??? Me idiot....blush
I gave 4 lines on the birth including
"By the way, DD2's full name is _ _ _ since you were to preoccupied with other issues to ask."
If she did get it, there will be no doubt now of my perspective- I said there was no way I could make my pregnancy, birth, new baby be about her. I went into the Maternity Leave and how insulting and diminishing it was and that I'd never forgive her for it; how there is no talking to her for her reflexive power plays of dismissiveness, corrections, last words, etc; and more, and ended with
If this doesn't offer you a clue on your journey of self-reflection and 'if you can't figure it out by yourself', then do what you'd normally do and hire a professional.
I did write that I thought she thinks TMSB is the one with a problem but stated very clearly it is not me, it is her.

Basically an honest venting, it felt good to write it and push the send button...but did she get it? I do not know. She may have my address blocked for all I know.

Well, you are all right and in harmony with DH- I need a break from this. DH says I owe her NO explanation under any circumstances anyway...so I will 'leave it' (one of MS's dogie commands). I do have to work on getting her voice out of my head.

Thank you for your support, and stating her letter was to keep me or bring me back into her version of experience/reality to deny me the truth of my experience/reality. Nothing said about MS could be felt as 'too harsh'-no worries there.

Before I found out I was pregnant, I had already started to try to distance myself from her. It was very hard especially without knowledge (from books) and your support, and the counseling. I said in the phantom email that my pregnancy really brought out her 'true colors'-another one of her favorite phrases. It amplified her NPD to such an extent, as you can see from these past few weeks, that I can or will have no sympathy for her from now on.

Yes, I'm in US.
MS is 47 years old.
And yes, OS is one of the nicest people that ever drew a breath. She obviously respects me by not going behind my back to call MS; MS obviously does not respect me by expecting that OS would. More clarity

I have offered suggestions to others here of "not participating" and I will follow my own advice. The letter is bait. I will respond no longer.

Thanks- more than I can say. <<<hugs>>>

oneplusone Tue 11-Mar-08 13:31:59

Hello all, how are you?

I went to see one of my 3 potential counsellor's yesterday evening. I ended up telling her a lot of things which I hadn't really planned on talking about on the first appointment. I realised I still have quite a long way to go as although I have had a lot of 'realisations' and done a lot of work myself, and I've also written lots of things down and found it theraputic, but I have never actually talked out loud and told someone in real life about some of my most traumatic experiences from my childhood and about how I felt so lost and lonely and scared and hurt. My previous counsellor I realise whilst not damaging in any way didn't really draw me out to talk about my experiences. Although perhaps he could sense that I simply wasn't ready to talk about some of the terrible things I experienced and I know I wasn't. It was hard enough to just allow the memories through never mind to actually talk about what happened. But I do feel ready now to talk and perhaps that's why I ended up saying a lot more than i intended to the counsellor i saw yesterday.

But the problem i have is that i don't really know how to decide which counsellor to choose. The one i saw yesterday didn't really say much, she just listened. I suppose i felt comfortable with her generally, but i did feel slighly uncomfortable about her reaction, just through her facial expression at one or two things i told her. I have 2 more to see, I suppose it will be quite obvious if i don't 'like' someone. I went to see a counsellor once over a year ago and i knew straightaway that she wasn't right.

I would appreciate hearing about your experiences of finding a good counsellor and how you went about it and how you decided which one was right for you.

Mikafan and matildax, how are you both? I notice you haven't posted recently, (not that you're obliged to of course) but I just hope you are feeling ok. I have found my 'down' days have ultimately been the most 'profitable' if iykwim. For me, feeling down has meant that some new memories, thoughts and feelings are surfacing, and once they have surfaced and I have had a good cry and processed them i feel so much better and i know i have moved forward. I have learnt this through having been on this journey for over a year, and i sincerely hope and beleive that the same will be true for you too.

kaz33 Wed 12-Mar-08 09:26:00

Ahhh - just lost it with DS1 on the way to school. Its all about me wanting to control him, he never shuts up, never leaves his brother alone, is always in his face pushing and whining. I say don't do that XXX and he returns to me with don't do that mummy - like a parrot. We go to school and there he is on the stairs, looking at me - saying I am not well mummy I don't want to go swimming. And all i can think is f**k off me and leave me alone, I can't handle you needing me because I have enough problem dealing with myself sad

I go on my course a week on Friday, its like through all the pre-process work I have opened up so many sores - it's almost I can't help scratching them. Literally as well, I have suddendly got really itchy (just as I used to itch as a child) and I have this strange metallic taste in my mouth. I just want to lock myself away in a room .

I hate me as a parent, DS1 has become really empathatic to my moods - I apologise for shouting and he then apologises - I say you don't need to apologise you haven't done anything wrong. He will say anything to try and make my happy, to try and make it right. He's only 6 and I have done so much damage to him already. He is so sensitive to all my moods, just like i was to my mum. Its almost like I can't believe he loves me, why would he love me I'm not particularly lovable.

That feels better for writing it down.

Mikafan Wed 12-Mar-08 09:45:13

Hi oneplusone, I'm still here, I just don't have anything to contribute at the moment. I've thankfully still heard anything from my mum and I don't think about her which is cool with me - long may it last

I'm sorry to hear about everyone else feeling so down. I only wish I had words of wisdom for you all but I don't

oneplusone Wed 12-Mar-08 14:02:06

Hi kaz, i can relate to your situation with your DC's, I have definately been there and done that. I think the problem we have is that we don't know what's normal. Would another mum, who didn't grow up in such a dysfunctional family occasionally feel as we do towards our DC's and treat them as we sometimes do? I often think about this and wonder whether some of our feelings and behaviour are common to all parents regardless of their own upbringing.

I suppose it's something we will always struggle with. I too always say sorry to DD when i have been unreasonably angry with her. Luckily now i recognise instantly when my rage is triggered by her but stems from my childhood. The only problem is i only realise after i have shouted at her usually sad. I am optimistic though that i will soon learn to recognise it before i shout at her and not shout at all. The incidents are far far less now than they have been in the past so i have taken that to mean that i am making progress in all of this.

I'm sure you will see an immense change in yourself after you have been on the course and you're right in that all the preparation you have to do beforehand must be triggering memories, feelings and emotions from your childhood.

Like i said i will be very interested to hear about the course and it is something i may consider in the future as well. x

kaz33 Wed 12-Mar-08 14:22:25

Thanks 1+1 - I thought I was getting better and calmer but then this comes out of the woodwork and smacks me in the face.

Ah well, we might make a cake after school - daddy is coming home after a few days away so it will be a nice suprise for him and good mummy bonding time.

matildax Wed 12-Mar-08 16:26:44

hello all, and thanks for the kind words oneplusone. also ally90 thankyou for your messages, hope you are feeling ok, big hugs smile
i havent posted for a few days, but have logged in ,just to read what others have written. i think with regards to therapy, you must be 100% comfortable and at ease with your therapist.
my last one was great, but then i found out i was pregnant with my ds and i decided not to carry on at that time (he did say i could return whenever i wanted, but not sure at the moment, its all so painfull)
the days after were always really horrid, although i do think i was becoming slightly stronger in myself.
oneplusone, again i have seen "that look" in a councellor i once saw. i dont really think we clicked, i remember once not turning up for an appointment, and she got really cross with me, telling me time was money!!! no regard whatsoever for my emotional state!! she also could not understand that i did not/still do not "hate" someone in my family who hurt me a lot physically and mentally when i was very small... i could understand her reasoning, but she refused point blank to consider mine.
perhaps i am wrong, and i am sure is something like that happened to one of my children i would be horrified and would "hate" aswell, oh i dont know maybe im completely crazy.
love to you all, have a good week xx

toomanystuffedbears Wed 12-Mar-08 21:34:03

Small children are small children and well, been there done that- know the fatigue+frustration+just feeling defeated+feeling driven insane.

I read a book very early on when my ds & dd1 were tiny- it was a book for communicating with teenagers, but I read it anyway.
The title was something like: How to listen to your teenagers so they will talk and how to talk to your teenagers so they will listen." It was helpful, but I read it so long ago I won't try to quote from it.

A couple of concepts I always try to follow are whenever I say "no" to something, always give an acceptable option. Having "no" said to you all the time would frustrate anyone (any age) so the acceptable option relieves that. Also, try to stop what you are doing and make eye contact when talking to the child. This little thing gives a lot of respect with it and makes the child visible, validated-as opposed to being invisible and unimportant.
Good luck; it is very hard to catch a reflex or unconscious reaction in the moment. But we all know that it is important to try, keep on trying...and the rewards will undoubtedly be worth it- for everyone.
----------
I feel a web of contradiction for myself.
Recognizing and identifying and giving credibility to my feelings has been a great break through for me. But then situations arise that I should keep quiet, or not respond, or (I guess) turn around and shut myself down on purpose. How ironic. But I know in doing so myself is me being in control of my life and not letting someone else control me.

My lovely MS sent me a box yesterday, presumably my birthday gift, but addressed to "The ____'s". I did not open it.

Today, two boxes arrived, I will presume full of baby gifts. They both are addressed to my baby girl. One from lovely MS and the other from MS's neighbor (although the handwriting on the label looks very similar to MS's hand hmm). (I have spoken with her neighbor several times and she's ok, she's an older retired lady, I wonder if MS has adopted her as a surrogate mom.) Just an old fashioned power play...dare me to not respond with a thank you note to her neighbor. Or should I send the neighbor a thank you note and not MS? I think not: the neighbor has known her long enough to know what she is.

Anyway, DH is angry and said "they are from Miss Manipulation" smile and he supports me in the best response is no response.
I was tempted to return the boxes with a "letter" making my feelings very clear. But that would be letting myself be drawn back into the drama triangle.

I'll store them in the garage. Original plans had MS coming to "help" me on 21 Mar.
I'm wondering if she will show up-as she has seemed to either ignore (or didn't get?) my email. DH said she simply isn't welcome here anymore and so we won't allow her in. He recognized MS's presumption that I "needed" her, especially since announcing I was pg. She must have thought that was a slam dunk for her. HA DH says I don't need her to function. I said I actually function better without her. And I do-I have such a true feeling of relief. And she really was (see?! PAST TENSE!! grin) the source of my depression, if that is what it really was that I was feeling: dysfunction, diminished child sister, or misfit status. She gloried in keeping me there for the permanent 'rescue' target.

ally90 Thu 13-Mar-08 08:34:08

Welcome Jingleyjen Sorry you found it so hard to read our other threads but its good you are here now. And good you have a sister who understands. Does your dh understand how you feel about your mother? Tell us more about you when you feel ready...even the less painful memories. Or present experiences. Anything is good

Oneplusone...I'll see how you do with your therapist interviews with interest! And re your anger, you were right to vent it here and get it down in black and white you have acknowledged its not okay and gradually, you will come to recognise you are doing it and be able to stop yourself just takes lots of time...just think beating your path through a jungle...instead of taking the well worn track ...takes lots more time to get through, but given enough will power you will succeed You are doing things differently to your mother. And like you were climbing a great height try not to look down, ie back in time, you will feel worse and you will struggle harder to get to the top of the mountain (of being the mum you want to be). Oooh I'm good on analogys today... grin

Kaz - yup, I get well peeved when my dd does not go down for a sleep...I act okay (i hope) but inside I'm seething with frustration and anger... think I might consider that course too... I'll watch with great interest to see how you are when you come back! Lets hope you feel better about yourself.

TMSB - love the email you sent (hopefully). Your ms is laying down the bait isn't she? Presents from her neighbour now hmm you do right not to reply. Its giving her a response to her taunting. My therapist is big on responding with 'Please respect my request for no contact, I understand you may feel hurt/angry etc but that will change nothing'. However my dh and I have always gone for no response. Because each time they would have got a reply from me (there would have been at least 20 odd over 2 years) they would have got excited at getting something from me, as it is an acknowledgement them. Whereas no response is a brick wall. You can't get by it. And is ultimately pointless to carry on sending items.

Matildax - your welcome thanks for your thoughts on therapists...just about to vent about mine angry. Sounds like you have not had a good experience...and btw you are the sane one...good lord...imagine a therapist that makes you feel like you are mad...!!

Okay...my vent....

I am finishing my therapy in June. Told therapist that I did not want to be doing therapy when I'm pg (no not yet...going to try this year!!) which is true. But also I feel as if we have never really 'clicked'. He has helped a great deal re tools to help me cope in day to day life and many other things...but re emotions regarding my family I have hit a block. I feel he is 'for' them against me much of the time. Which is not good. I have emotions I need to process and I cannot with feeling he is on there side. I have raised this with him and he has denied it time and time again. Quite vemently at times. But actions speak louder than words, right? Last night all was going great...really got upset at the thought of finishing therapy with him etc...then I mentioned my separation from family this led to a 'hmmm just had a thought, not sure if I should say or not...' que me thinking 'here we go again' he reminded me of my mother wanting to say something wounding that my sister had said...so I asked him with an internal sigh...oh he came out with a gem, what if my mother died and I had not said all I wanted to say to her. Then he twisted it further suggesting the letter I sent asking for no contact had asked for an acknowledgement of my experiences...I may have had a different response. I'm flipping fuming angry I did not want a response. I broke all contact as my mothers behaviour, my having a small baby to cope with, I was pushed into a corner by her behaviour and my fathers behaviour. And the fact that it took 28 years for my true feelings to show. I do not want them in my life. I wanted to divorce my mother and sister at age of 9 because of their behaviour. Their behaviour since I sent the letter has been totally unacceptable and self absorbed to the point of comedy. I want a sodding therapist ON MY SIDE and not batting for the other side. I feel when I talk of my family he is constantly leading me to 'what if you did this' etc

Anyway got to go...dd has finished watching tv blush and needs me.

I think we need to compile a national list of therapists that understand divorce from family and support it!!

ally90 Thu 13-Mar-08 08:41:45

Another thought - why is the therapist so keen on getting us doing all the work? We spend years being brought up by toxic parents/families then when we realise how deeply they have affected and wounded us and work on changing ourselves, our responses etc to then show our families how to behave? Why is it on our heads to do this? Surely if they wanted to change they have had a lifetime to do so? The fact we are in therapy/analysing ourselves show we have something they dont have, insight. Something you cannot teach people. And given the fact we have been in such personal contact with our families, surely we are the last people to teach them new behaviour????? Afterall my therapist would not take on my family as he would feel the need to protect me...so how the hell am I in a better place to teach them how they should respond/behave? Or maybe I have all this wrong and got wrong end of stick????

Bloody mental bloody therapist angry

ally90 Thu 13-Mar-08 08:42:39

Sorry for venting about therapists Oneplusone...there are good one's out there... Glad you are interviewing them...something I will be doing next time!

smithfield Thu 13-Mar-08 10:40:30

ally- You are quite right to feel angry. A large protion of therapy, is having that supporting, unconditional relationship you never got as a child.
He is 'enforcing' his opinion, 'need' upon you. He has his own agenda for doing this. Maybe professional, maybe personal. But this in effect is exactly what our parents would do. So to continue with him now I think would undermine the work you have done to date.

Just wanted to say a bit as well about losing it with the LO's.

Been very stressful here. Well maybe not very stressful, just 'me getting stressed.' DD doesnt sleep, fusses for 6 hours from 4 til about 12midnight. But I know she is just doing what babies do.

I dread this time of day now.

At the same time suddenly ds will not go to bed with dh, he will only let me take him. And yet the baby will not settle with dh either.

So there I am upstairs trying to read calmly to a chattering (let's string bedtime out)3 year old and trying to focus on him, when all I can focus on is the crying downstairs.(are you sure about no2 ally wink)

And I feel the tension, anger build and build and suddenly...Bang... out it comes.

I say 'who is reading this story ME OR YOU'.

Then comes the immense guilt, cuddle and mummy 'crappy mummy', needs to apologise. AGAIN.

I realise the biggest hurdle here suddenly for me.
My parents were shocking at dealing with stress. They had a lot of it, couldnt handle any of it. The air at home often crackled with it. And they off loaded on to their kids. Lashed out often.

So they taught me how to deal with stress. And now there is a danger that I do the same to my Dc's.

I need to find another mechanism to alleviate my stress, another way of off loading it.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

I also think a great source of this stress is the inner voice/ parental voice..(.dont know what to name it yet.)

Because I had to ask myself where does this stress come from?

When Im reading to ds but feel my tension anger rising because DD is crying, I have to ask why?

Is it because I feel like I am failing?

It's the same when Ds needs me but I cant get to him because I am b'feeding dd I feel tension at not being able to do so.

So it is the internal whip that keeps lashing and building that tension in the first place.

The need to be perfect, the rising panic at being useless and that someone will pop up and tell me so very soon... and there is nothing in between.

These are the issues I have to deal with and asap. For the sake of my lovely dc's who are so innocently unaware of their mothers inner turmoil.

Kaz-
'I also I apologise for shouting and he then apologises'

My ds does this too....and he is only 3 sad. The minuite he sees my 'angry' or 'disaproving' face, he says 'I'm sorry, sorry mummy'.

kaz33 Thu 13-Mar-08 11:08:10

Smithfield - been there, my two are only 2 years apart. Your little one is so small and by the sounds of it a bit unsettled, just like my DS2 was.

What did I do?

- how about a star chart for DS1, agree a set number of books (2?) of his choice and if he then settles and goes to bed he gets a star. Kids just like stars, don't need to give a reward.

- how about a dummy for DD, DS2 was very sucky - got rid of it at about 6 months without too much stress

- my DS2 loved the sound of the dryer, really settled him - I used to stand in front of the dryer and hold him. Maybe DH could try that, or even put him in carrycot and left the dryer on till he fell asleep. You can even buy white noise CD's or tape your own!

- I know you want to do everything right especially as you are aware of all your parental programming. But you have to relax, babies cry, some more than others - letting her cry while she is with DH will do her no damage. Teach DH to talk quietly and softly to her, praise him when she calms down and make him feel empowered in his dealing with him. "please will you hold her for me, she loves it/ always settles for you"

kaz33 Thu 13-Mar-08 11:39:54

When you are breastfeeding to DD can you get DS to go and get a book so that you can read to him at the same time, the sound of your voice no doubt will help DD to settle and breastfeed. DS will feel so special being part of your time with DD, he might even start to look forward to you breastfeeding DD grin

It is so difficult to let go and not want everything perfect but relaxed mums make for relaxed kids.

After my terrible morning, we had a lovely afternoon - I made a cake with DS2 and we then stuffed our faces with it. It was edible as well, which makes a change as most of cakes are pretty grim!!

ally90 Thu 13-Mar-08 12:14:30

Smithfield - that sounds extremely tough, not sleeping AND fussing from 4pm to midnight! That is enough to make anyone stressed and harrassed! Add to that your ability (given by your mother) to make everything your fault...and having to be perfect...your going to be waiting a long time to be the perfect mum you know...and who wants a perfect mum? I'd settle for a good enough mum...one who makes mistakes and own up to them and show me the way to be a 'only human, good enough' adult. If you were perfect...how will they learn to recover from mistakes they make? And you would be quite a boring person to know I imagine hmm. Time to override that parental voice...what you are doing is GOOD ENOUGH. This is a very hard time for the family, especially you as your trying to keep everyone okay, apart from yourself. That is quite some burden and one you will not achieve, so you fail again...you need to set yourself something achievable and take all the help your dh is offering you.

So you know 4pm to midnight is going to be stressful. You know that your son will naturally try to string out bedtime. How can we change things to take out some of the stress? When do you get even half an hour to yourself? Afterall having breastfed myself I know that you feel almost physically attached to the baby, but she will be okay for half an hour with dh without you. You need time to become human again. You cannot give give give without some nurturing time for yourself so you can go back to giving again. That could be a drive out in the car, a walk, a candlelit bath, read a book etc. With ds bedtime, how about you give yourself half an hour or whatever to settle him? Tell yourself that you are not the only one who can take care of dd, your dh is capable of it, just in a different way (and without norks...my dd knew the difference hmm). Allow you and ds that time together and allow yourself to relax with him. Your time at the end of the day together, just you and him. And yes dd will cry, but let dh take the brunt of it for a while. You have more than earned a break for yourself. As for feeding dd and not spending time with ds, how about reading a book together on sofa? (only read about this with siblings...naturally not experienced it yet...now having second thoughts hmm wink).

You can do this! Now how about posting on the parenting thread about your dd fussing? See what advice they come up with. And about how to spend time with ds. Get support where ever you can, there is a lot of experience and really good ideas out there if you just ask for help/advice

hugs for now xxxx

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 13-Mar-08 13:55:45

Hi Sakura

Re your comment:-

"Attila, I read the post you wrote about the way your mother treats you and then the way in which she treats your brother. If it helps, its quite clear that this different treatment is not because she loves him more than she loves you but because for whatever reason, he is easier to control. Cleaning up after someone all the time is not helping- its enabling. She's enabling him to live like a slob so that he continues to "need" her and so that she continues to have an important role and she can feel gratified that she is needed by someone. Its a little dance and has absolutely nothing to do with love.
"The COntinuum concept" and "Letting Go as Children Grow" (based on the COntinuum concept) talk about this. THat a child's room will continue to remain messy as long as the parent does not empower the child. For example as a child my room was always in a state- a real mess, and yet since I've cut off my mother, I now have a routine and am as tidy as you can be with a 1 year old. Its because I am in control of my space, my kitchen and my life. My mother would sporadically enter my room and do a spring clean while I was out (rifling through my stuff while she was at it). I would feel violated after one of her 'spring cleans'. But never once did she show me how to use the washing machine. In fact if I took it upon myself to tidy something, she'd shout "LEave THAT! I'll do THAT" as if I was stepping on her toes or something hmm.
On the first thread, Greensleeves called this "camping out in my own life" i.e not organising your space and cupboards in a way that makes sense to you. This could well be how your brother feels about all of this".

Thanks Sakura, I'll look further into that.

I also think these two (mum and brother) are controlling each other. I would certainly agree that she is doing this also to feel both needed and validated. I'd rather her get a job and a life to be honest with you but that ain't gonna happen.

Any further thoughts are welcome.

How are you btw?. I feel my parents are pretty much "tame" compared to some of the toxic and mad as a box of cut snakes parents many of these women are unfortunate enough to have for parents.

With best wishes

Attila

smithfield Thu 13-Mar-08 14:46:13

Kaz and ally- Thanks for your replies.

I probably sound a bit more flummoxed (is that a word?) than I actually am...It just helps to get it out.

And at the mo I have to pretty much rattle it out, no time for editing.

I feel like with dd ,Im experiencing so much difficulty, because my mother could not have met my demands as a baby.

In terms of breastfeeding, when she was visiting us when I had ds, she went out and bought a dummy (and I have no real issues with them trust me), but when I was at my weakest enforced it's use when all ds wanted was to feed. SHe would then keep looking at her watch and tutting and sighing whenever I fed him. Until I relented (exhausted and desperate)...and put him on a 4 hourly schedule.

This time I am determined to work through it. I've looked up posts on mnet about fussy times and all say the same thing...that its normal for b'fed babies to want to be at the breast most of the evening. Ok not all from 4 onwards!

I know I would have been scheduled...in fact handed to my nan probably to be fed and palced back in my crib....so I am beating a brand new path. It is not natural to me and I feel anger at the demand dd is making/placing on me so often.

But you are right ally, I should not feel guilty to take out 1/2 an hour to nurture myself as well.

Yet I must overcome this, because I know I will come out the other side a stronger parent.
Also I've got in touch with a local group that use slings, and I think that could be an answer to the early evening (when ds is around...) issues.

I should be able to keep her close, but have two hands to make ds's tea, and put him to bed with bub attached if necessary.

Don't worry,I will then be getting dh using sling too...might have to spray some eau d'a milk on him first though wink.

But thankyou ladies for keeping me sane...feel a bit like a sofa jailbird at the moment.hmm

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