Saturday, February 9, 2008

Do I deserve it?

I had counseling this morning. I was very relaxed when I went but my mind was circling three different subjects. All of which have been on my blog. 1. My homework from last session. 2. The observations of my mother. 3. How I reacted to DD writing she loved her daddy. So when I got there, I really couldn't get started. I had to do another breathing exercise just to hone in on a topic. The "Sad" DD topic is freshest in my mind. T homework is always a priority. But in the end, I needed to focus on my mother and the incident with her being over here for dinner. The way she was in her own world while here.

I left my session notes in the car and it's too cold and snowy out to go get them. I told T about the comment from my mother when she said how she can't stand to hear stories about children being exposed to abusive conversation and victims of neglect. I told T how I handled it by staying silent, but present. She said that was a great start. We discussed what the "right" thing for me to say would be. It was something along the lines of "I find it very difficult to listen you to say things like that without reflecting on my own experiences." There was more to it...something about how the way she acted with me doesn't line up with the words she speaks now. I told T I wasn't prepared to say that just yet. I also told her, and will admit here, that I'm beginning to bounce around the idea of bringing in mom for a joint session with T. It's really just barely a simmer on the back burner right now. But it's there.

Next we talked about the crazy behavior with my mother playing with all of DD's toys and basically trying to coerce her back into playing when DD had very clearly expressed a desire for space and privacy. T told me that, better than a joint session, moments such as these present me with an incredibly opportunity to open a dialog and perhaps have some very meaningful conversations with my mother. That if I ask my mother in as gentle a tone as possible what she is doing at times like that, then maybe I can start to understand where she's coming from. Like when playing with all the toys....Mom, what are you doing right now? What are you trying to accomplish? What cues did you pick up from DD that say she wants to be pursued right now? Stuff like that. I'm certain my mother is in her own world when she does that. I theorized that perhaps, because my mother is so clearly uncomfortable with solitude, she feels like she needs to rescue anyone else who is alone, failing to recognize that some people need to be alone at times.

T asked me if my mother was like this with me when I was young. I said I could not remember at the age my DD is now but I do know as I got was a passive type of pursuit. It was coaxing, coersion, bribery. It was like leading an animal to a trap with bait. She'd leave a twinkie outside my door and knock then leave. So I'd come get it. And then there would be dinner cooking, or I'd want another. And then I'd go to the kitchen. And there she would be. It was a subtle and frankly cowardly way to approach me.

I was talking to T about the letters from my mother as well. I believe they started at pre-teen years for me. It led me into talking about a recent post I read I believe on Rising Rainbow's blog about psychological abuse, the parentalizing of a child. And I see even more clearly now how my mother did this to me. The letters she used to leave for me were for her only. They were downright selfish on her part. Pouring out her soul to me. I was a child, for God's sake. I wasn't ready to hear all her crap so that I had to empathize with her instead of be angry. I was groomed to protect her and take care of her. She had no right to lean on me the way she did; teling me about her past and her marriage. Looking to me for advice about getting a divorce. It was so wrong and I didn't know it for so long. No wonder I felt so "grown up" before I was. Certainly if my counsel is being sought in such weighty issues, I'm an ADULT!

On a side but similar note, we were talking about parents who project adult qualities onto their children and look to them to fill a role. I mentioned that I found it noteworthy that, not only did this happen to me but, my two most significant relationships were each with men who had been in that position at the hands of their mothers. Just an interesting tidbit for me to tuck under my cap.

It's really pretty cool to be present in my life so much of the time now. It's cool to be able to see things and connect things. T said she was recently taking a walk on the beach with her dogs and it was a misty, foggy morning. She said at first it was really cool...comforting, mysterious and a certain peace to it. But then it starts to feel isolating and you wonder what is beyond the fog. Then once the fog lifts, you want to stay in the sunshine and be able to see what is out there. And such is therapy. sum it up, and to finally tie the title of this blog into all the rambling: I began to once again get angry at the thoughts of having to put so much effort into drawing my mother into reality and having to work so hard to build a more real relationship with her. And it pisses me off that SHE will reap a benefit from my hard work after she contributed to all the nightmare situations that screwed me up from the start!!! Does she deserve that gift?? But then I thought....Do *I* deserve it? I need to quit lamenting the benefit to her and do it for what helps me on the road to recovery. You know, there is actually a fairly high level of fear going into this. I like to complain that my mother is not who I want her to be yet I have a built in interest in maintaining the status quo. Change is scary. Change means making myself vulnerable, opening up to hurt and failure. It's really frightening and I'm not sure I want to do it. I mean, I do. But I don't. You know what I mean.

I'm exhausted and not even sure I'm thinking coherently. I wonder if I will read this back tomorrow and it will make no sense at all. Because I don't even have the energy to proofread now!!


Enola said...

Your T is so smart - I like the comment she suggested you say to your Mom. I'm storing that up in my own mind to use later.

Hidden Tears said...

I can relate to wanting your mom to be the person she should have been but is no where close to being. Not to long ago I have a "mother" session with my T. I was so mad and hurt at the way she(mom) acted toward me and my kid over chirstmas. My T told me that I was a hopeful person. She said that my mother is lucky to have someone like me...I didnt know where she was going with it till she said that it is rare for people to still be hopeful for someone that has hurt them so badly. Hopful that she will someday be the person I know in my heart she will never become.

Sad part is that I dont want to be hopeful for her. I want to have the same hateful attitute towards her that she has for me.

I think its really sad that the ones who are suppose to protect us the most could be so selfish. I look at my son and I couldnt imagine ever, ever acting like that towards him. I know the pain a mothers rejection can cause.

I have notice that is seems to be a lot of incest survivor with totally non-supportive mothers( or fathers is the mother is the abuser). Kinda makes you wonder why that is, or atleast it makes me wonder.

But yes you totally deserve it!!