Saturday, December 15, 2007

Update After Counseling

Had T this morning. Unfortunately it had to be a phone session since I didn't have a babysitter. But was still good. I feel like I'm making alot of progress in counseling lately, really gettting some stuff out. Yay!

I was talking to T about the taxi situation when I took my mom to NYC. You know, I never really identify things as a "trigger". I rarely use that word. Even though I often say something wil "bring up" some sort of feeling. I need to start identifying this correctly. When my mother doesn't listen to me, it is a trigger. And it makes me feel frustrated, angry and resentful. Now, T pointed out something VERY interesting. I described the taxi scenario. T asked me to take myself out of the situation and "watch" it from a different perspective. I realized that she acted this was with my father as well. It's her people-pleasing nature. T said this has very little, if anything, to do with me. T asked me if I felt like I was even in the picture with my mother and I realized that, no, I did not. Until she got what she wanted and finally turned to me and asked "Is that okay?", I really felt like I was invisible. She didn't hear a word I said. T said "She cannot hear you. She is in a trance." She's in a state of panic that goes back to her own issues....child of an alcoholic and alot of family drama. T also said she believes my mother was traumatized in some way. She said this is really old stuff for my mother and it existed well before she even married my father at age 19. Until I'm able to pull back from it, I can't react to it differently.

T commented on my mothers question once she returned to the present moment with me, asking if this was "okay". T said "Look at her...she is a child asking for approval" Told me that my mother gives me alot of power over her. I had to laugh at that b/c I also give alot of power to my mother. In any case, there is a complete lack of consciousness on her part.

I got angry in this and I let it fly, which felt good. I didn't censor and I ended up just yelling out "I want HER to be the grown up!!" This is the whole issue with my being "parentalized" as a child, being forced into a parental role since she was unable to do it. So clearly my anger is rooted here as well...I don't want to be the parent. And, speaking of anger....again, it just really pisses me off that I'm the one who has to do all the work around this. Once again, I have more work to do because of HER issues. I mean,. I recognize that dealing with this will benefit me. I'm doing it for me and for my DD, not for my mother. But STILL.....dammit. Doesn't she ever have to take responsibility???? T said my mother is just plain unaware. She really is living her family life in a total trance because it's all she can do. So, it's not my job to take care of my mother but my task is to learn to detach instead of react. ie: Let my mother do her little frantic thing (knowing that anything I say will be futile) and when she's done, say something like "I didn't need you to do that. Did YOU need to do that?" I commented that when I say anything like that is when my mother goes into her guilty-for-existing apologies. T said to say something like "STOP reacting to me like I am someone who hurt you." Oy....I so can't imagine saying that to my mother. I think she would faint. Or I would, LOL.

In pointing out how unaware my mother is, T said that with knowledge comes responsibility and that is why it comes back to me. I'm not taking care of her....I am freeing myself. Not trying to "fix" her. Just making choices in my own best interest.

Now, THIS part was highly interesting to me.......I was relaying the story of the kitchen, where I felt trapped and was only able to respond to my mother in small "hmm"s & grunts. That is exactly how my father acted with her. T said that my mother sets this up for herself unconsciously. It's something she feels the need to relive for whatever reason. And b/c I react the same way, she's learned how to recreate the experience with me. So again MY task is to learn how to shift something so that I can achieve detachment. Which means I have to control the panic, take a breath and refuse to get into the same old dance with her. Tell her to stand in a different spot, change the subject, tell her she's making me uncomfortable....whatever works for me. But I have to stop allowing her to get me into that dance for her. I have to just be able to identify that something doesn't feel comfortable and so I need to change an aspect of it.

I have dream interpretations but I'll have to come back with them. I promised DD we would play a game when Frosty was over...and it's over.


April_optimist said...

This really resonated with me. I had the same pattern with my mother for years. And the same anger. In retrospect, I can feel sorry for her and know that all this work (painful as it was!) got me to a point where I'm actually happy and like myself and that's not something my mother ever achieved. She went to her grave desperately unhappy and seeking approval and feeling unworthy.

Hard as this journey is, I'm so glad you're taking the steps so that you can be happy and don't have to keep replaying old patterns.

Enola said...

You're supposed to say WHAT? Now we've joked before that we have the same mother. And this post just points it out more. I think my mom is the same way. And I can't imagine saying that to her.

April - you're so true. I can be happy now. And I don't think my mother ever will be happy.

Marj aka Thriver said...

A lot of feeling going on. I think you deserve to take a lot of credit for that. I feel convinced that, for my own healing, I really have to feel the feelings.