need to vent

Hello everyone,

I didn't write here for a very long time.

I just got a very triggering call from my mom saying she feels that for the last few month I've been cutting her off of my life. i've been working very hard to set firm boundaries from my parents and take care of myself because I still get hurt from being in contact with them.

My mom said she understands she made mistakes in the past when she was a young mom but she doesn't know what she did wrong because I refuse to talk to her about it. she said that I'm making her emotionally sick and she's not going to try to renew our relationship anymore. she said I should look in the mirror and think about the people i hurt when i say things. she also said that the whole situation of the distance that she feel from me is because of a phase i'm going through .

On the one hand she blames me for her devastating feelings and on the other hand she says that she's waiting for me with open arms.

I never felt so guilty . She talked for 15 minutes and I couldn't say anything. Instead i got numb and tired. I didn't think ahead that putting boundaries will have such a heavy cost.

On top of all that my therapist is on vacation abroad for a month and a half and will come back only in three weeks.

i'm at work now so i cant afford to fall apart. I really want to sleep - I'm so tired...

8 Replies

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  • Hi

    I don't know what your therapist has said, but do you think that talking to your mum, might help?

    Even if it doesn't, it seems that it can't really make it worse as your not seeing her.

    Sometimes not facing a problem doesn't really help in the long run, as it's still there.myou might feel worse for a bit, but eventually you will feel better. At least you will know you've put your side of it to her and if it doesn't work, your no worse off.

    Good luck and best wishes.

  • Seems like it was one sided monologue rather than a conversation. Not fair to you.

    It sounds like she wants to make you feel guilty and that's not okay.

    I can understand how it is very difficult to exercise boundaries with people who are close. It is really hard.

    I know it's easier said than done but maybe you could try to focus on your work right now and tell yourself you will come back to this later? Sometimes trying to solve something when we are still raw is too difficult and you need some distance.

    Sending you supportive energy...

  • Good advice: holding it together and putting matters aside and giving them their due space is important...

    sometimes we've just got to deal with life and not allow powerful stuff to overwhelm every day living....

    Tough, I know...

  • Hi. Sorry to hear this. I really feel for you. It sounds like you need some distance from your mum. Seems like she is trying to make you feel guilty. It probably wouldn't be a good thing to open it all up with her whilst your therapist is away ( as it sounds like this is something your therapist may need to help with when YOU are ready and not when your mum tries to initiate it)

    I know it is really hard to set firm boundaries with your parents, but these boundaries are essential when you've come from a dysfunctional family where there has been lots of trauma. I know myself it is easier said than done...

    Try and focus on work if you can and also the things YOU enjoy and make you feel good. Be kind to yourself.

  • P.S. Putting up boundaries can have a high cost because some people will no longer be in our lives.

    It seems that you need a dialog with her and not a guilt trip monolog from her side...if she is up to talking on different healthier terms then things might change. But I think you should wait if possible till your therapist is back like Ellen mentioned.

  • Good call Nat...putting up boundaries can have a high cost!!

  • Hi there.

    i'm so sorry that your 'positive action' to set positive and necessary boundaries for your own health and well-being, has created such negative outcomes....

    To begin with, I think that it was and is very important for you to have set out those boundaries.

    We all have to do this, even as children growing up without PTSD. It is part and parcel of growing up and becoming independent of our parents - becoming adults in our own rights.

    The issue is how to do it without inflicting enmity. Obviously, where your mother is concerned, she feels hostility. However, as an outsider, I might observe that this is a predictable response, since you have created a change in the status quo [a status that was not working or healthy for you remember] and which seemed to work in your mums favour. As another reply says above, when we change the status quo, this often causes the other person to become agitated: because boundaries are changing and things they once relied upon and drew energy from, are no longer there. But just remember, you can not be a continual energy source for your parent, if it is not making you healthy or happy.

    So my advice if I can give some??

    Write or say to your mum how you needed to set some healthy, fresh boundaries for you to reflect changes in your life - that will allow you to grow and grow.

    Make sure to stress the point that this does not mean that this person will no longer be in your life...

    Perhaps stress further, if you feel comfortable doing so, that your health demands that you focus right now on your self as priority and that this means you are stepping back/aside/forward towards creating this space for your healing to take place.

    Reassure your mother that you do not intend to cut her off, that you hope and wish for her to remain in your life [now and] in the future. {it surely can not help her being reactive and withdrawing herself}. Perhaps provide a safety net for her and say that, if she wants to step back and withdraw [for now] that is fine.... that you will be here still and open to hearing from her in the future.

    So just remember, dear... don't ever cut off bridges.... always keep open positive and healthy avenues for re-engaging positively in the future.

    Maybe I got this wrong - perhaps you do not wish to ever see her again!!? But from my experience, pain does ease and our attitudes can alter. Retaining love in your heart is going to honestly be so much healthier - whether she decides to come back or not is her choice - but at least you remain open minded and your heart is open to that possibility.

    Good luck with it all.

    The child/parent relationship is surely one of the hardest and complex in this lifetime.

    Perhaps tell your mum what you need from her, and let her tell you what she needs from you. This can be something/a goal to look to meeting in the long term.

  • Michal, you are not responsible for your mother's feelings. It is good to know that your Mom acknowledges the mistakes of the past, but as a mother myself of adult children who were affected by my own parenting mistakes while in a state of Depression, I have had to learn to give my sons the time to process their own hurt and pain without me insisting on how quickly it should be done.

    Your mother is making herself feel emotionally sick and that comment alone is very manipulative. Perhaps she would benefit from some grief counseling in that she does not at this time have the relationship with you that she desires. Even talking with someone who could help her understand how those mistakes have impacted you would be good.

    I am saddened by her comment that the distance is a phase. So few people understand the impact of trauma on another person even if it is a close family member.

    There is no need to feel guilty or take on this guilt, I repeat you are not responsible for your mother's feelings. Getting numb and tired is an indication that you were still being treated in the same way that you were hurt and are recovering from - setting boundaries is difficult when we haven't had them before and others with whom we are in relationship bulk at the new relationship standards. They aren't familiar perhaps for the need for such things (boundaries) as it then becomes clear how unhealthy our previous relationship with one another was. It is a learning curve for you both.

    I'm sorry that your therapist is away at this time when maybe you need her to process this circumstance and phone call, but you did the right thing coming here to this supportive community. I find that there is a lot of wisdom here through similar experiences.

    Take a deep breath Michal, its going to be ok. You survived the phone call and needn't own anything that isn't yours. As someone has already suggested, keep working within yourself and with your therapist and when you are stronger and healthier, you might be able to connect with your Mom and be able to articulate your needs and what kind of support you require from her.

    My adult son stopped talking to me for months and though it was hard, I had to attempt to put myself in his shoes and respect his own journey of healing and dealing with his own emotional injuries. Today, he is back to phoning me on a regular basis and sharing snippets of his life with me. I cherish those phone calls, but can draw them to a close when I become overwhelmed with information I can't handle. He, in turn, is learning what affects me and how.

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