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Writing a letter to emotionally abusive mother - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Even if you don't send it, writing it can help. I wrote a letter like that when I was 24. It helped a lot.

I'm so sorry.
post #22 of 32
InMediasRes, I noticed that your original post was way back in February. Did you write the letter? Send it?

I found the message in a bottle website to be... releasing, for me. I wrote a letter, and sent it off into the universe and felt much better.

Also, when my relationship with my mother was going through its death throes, I wanted to be very VERY clear and precise in what I communicated to her - not give away too much information, protect myself, "I" statements, etc. The situation was so upsetting that the only way I could handle it, at times, was to write a letter. And then edit and re-write and process and sleep on it and then finally send it.

I hope things have gotten better, InMediasRes.

I haven't seen it recommended yet, so here goes...

Toxic Parents
was of amazing help to me. Really good stuff.
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
Whoa, this was a flashback to read. I didn't think it would get dug back up again! After I got Boudicca's PM, I realized someone might have resurrected it.

As far as an update, I posted a new thread discussing what happened:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...284&highlight=

And that was months ago. Things really have just gotten better and better. I learned a lot about my mom in those few hours that we really listened to each other and I feel like it was the final haul to her seeing me as an adult. It also was a really important step for me to let go of some of the things from my past hat were hanging over our interactions.

It has definitely been some work, but it has totally been worth it. I'm so happy that I wrote the letter and got my feelings out in the open. Jus that one act made me feel empowered to get my needs met in our relationship.

Thanks everyone for your hugs and support.
post #24 of 32
Late to this thread, I was going to go against the grain and tell you to write and send the letter... I did several months ago and me and my mother haven't spoken yet but it was, and still is, a huge weight off my shoulders.

Glad to read the update and see that things are improving for you!
post #25 of 32
I'm currently writing one. I feel that I won't send it, but writing it has taken me back in time, many times so far - opening up & allowing the memories to flow through while I remain in a calm adult state & can mentally go to that child (me, although my sister is often there in the memories so I coddle her too for what its worth) and comfort her/them (if needed, if its a terrible memory) from today's perspective. Its draining and energizing. Its definitely a process.

I'm sorry that your mom couldn't be there fully for you, amazing how much it can still affect us as adults, who we are & how we carry ourselves through life. On that note, its also made me go into some memories from my mother's perspective (to try to see why she would make some of the choices she did) and that has helped, even if I'd not make *her* choices, its helped me find forgiveness. I really feel that I won't send it but I agree that the whole action of writing (+remembering/calming & comforting) has helped. Great to read your update & hope that you continue to find peace.

While I'm doing writing, I did actually tell my mom in a phone convo right after I got the call that dug alot of my stuff up... she did blame me. She accused my dead father of terrible things, said that my sister and I are liars and that "its fantastic, you are a victim, you win!" No, mom, I don't find glory in being a victim... just wanted you to *finally* step up & help me deal with something instead of blaming me & brushing an abusive situation under the rug. My point is that it was a painful wake-up for me to realize that she is emotionally abusive and definitely comes from her own little world. I left it 10 wks ago at telling her that I don't hold blame in my heart for the past, but wanted a mom who could see that something big just came down & to be there with me. She cannot do that. She has called once in 2.5 months and that was to tell me about her amazing vacation that she has been planning. Didn't ask until the end "so, everythings good right?" so I said "yeah" and she quickly came in with "alright, I'm running in to a meeting now and they all sit around doing nothing until I show up to teach them something!" She, btw is part of an equal team of several other teachers who also work very hard, I've been to their meetings on occasion. That has been the only call. Whatever, I started writing after that call. Just a btdt for what could happen if you tell her straight up. My mom's reaction hurt alot, but it was sort of like ripping off a band-aid... now I know who she is & can heal without her. Its a mixed bag!! Sorry to ramble, I wish you strength and peace.
post #26 of 32

Dear Mom

Thank you for making me the parent I am









and teaching me all that I ought not do with my own children
post #27 of 32

Read up, think it through, write it, then consider sending it

If you're certain you have a narcissistic mom, I would first read Dr. Karyl McBrides "Will I Ever Be Good Enough" Book and or get therapy.

I've read it and little did I know. Before reading the book I'd been doing things out of habit as a result of my mothers un-parenting.

What that habit is, is something very common amongst daughters of narcissistic mothers. It's self sabotage. And it can be very serious. To the point of the daughter becoming an alcoholic or other addict to drugs or food or whatever. This self sabotaging complex is described in Dr. McBrides book.

Before reading the book though, if I were to do it again, I'd make sure I had someone who knew what I was going through. Probably a therapist. It's extremely painful to realize at an adult age that the reason you're on welfare or unemployment or drugs (whatever the case may be) is because you're continually self sabotaging yourself because your mother never gave you the nurturing you needed as a child and she's still unable to as an adult. Not nearly enough love and attention to bloom you from rosebud to a beautiful bloomed rose.

Some of you who think you might have a narcissistic mom may not have one.

And, I've got to say that for a few of the posts I've read on this thread, some of you are lucky enough to have your mothers still calling you. Mine does not unless I guilt her into it -- which is shameful.

One day our mothers won't be with us and they won't be able to see you as a fully bloomed rose and maybe at least not your own kids.

I let my mother know I loved her and I thanked her for not aborting me. I was sincere about it but since she doesn't know me, she took offense to it and I had to steer her back to reality.

I'm still in the process of healing and I have no idea how long it takes. But I won't give up on myself the way my mother did.

Love with all you've got in every moment you get.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRosebud View Post
If you're certain you have a narcissistic mom, I would first read Dr. Karyl McBrides "Will I Ever Be Good Enough" Book and or get therapy.

I've read it and little did I know. Before reading the book I'd been doing things out of habit as a result of my mothers un-parenting.

What that habit is, is something very common amongst daughters of narcissistic mothers. It's self sabotage. And it can be very serious. To the point of the daughter becoming an alcoholic or other addict to drugs or food or whatever. This self sabotaging complex is described in Dr. McBrides book.
This self-sabotage pattern is a pattern that many people internalize after being sabotaged by their mothers for many years. I was an alcoholic because my mother required me to drink with her from age 11 up. She started me on heroin at age 14.


Quote:
And, I've got to say that for a few of the posts I've read on this thread, some of you are lucky enough to have your mothers still calling you. Mine does not unless I guilt her into it -- which is shameful.
My mother is dead, but phone calls from my mother were never a good thing. They were either verbally abusive or drunken self-pity fests. I was lucky when she STOPPED calling me.

Quote:
One day our mothers won't be with us and they won't be able to see you as a fully bloomed rose and maybe at least not your own kids.
This is an overly romantic statement for my life.

My mother died in March. I'm sorry for her that she's dead, but for myself and my kids, all I felt was relief. I'm glad it's over. I'm glad I don't have to worry about her. I'm 41. My mother saw me "fully bloomed." She hated every choice I ever made. She hated my husband. She hated my (successful) career. She hated my house. She hated my oldest child. She hated my clothes and my hair. Having children wrecked her life. She never, ever lost an opportunity to tell me these things.

Sorry. I'm glad it's working out for you, but this approach wouldn't work for me. I did everything I could to make a relationship with my mother work. It failed, but not because I didn't try hard enough or love her enough.
post #29 of 32
It really is tragic how many adults have to deal with issues left over from lack of good (or ANY!) parenting. All of you who've shared your stories here and on other threads -

(warning, LONG! Rosebud, your post hit a raw nerve I guess, lol.)


I also think that its sometimes best to leave the relationship behind and move on to get healthy. In my case, my mother and I will never hate each other and she will be allowed in, on a superficial level with short, light conversations. She did some terrible things, made choices that suited HER even when it meant that her kids would pay bigtime - but, it was not some of the horrid abuse that I've read about. I can fake it in order not to rock the boat even more. For my health & sanity, I need space from her to figure out how to do that. Our "relationship" is certainly not something I can't live without! Since early childhood, I've been solving her problems (she used my sis & I as pawns, many times, after a messy divorce and other times) and listening to her problems and dealing with the fights SHE still causes btwn us siblings... and recovering from some much heavier stuff that I don't feel right posting on the internet.

Right now, I just have so much rage in me toward her, things I'm remembering now, that I know it would turn back on me if I tried to talk with her about even mundane stuff, let alone anything meaningful. Besides that, conversations with her are more of an update on her life. She has a problem that when someone is talking with her, she doesn't hear what they say, b'c she's thinking of how it affects her & what she wants to say next. She's even admitted that. I have opened and told her things before and 100% of the time, it goes like this: she'll try to make me into some sort of liar who tells a story to get attention, then when she finally realizes that yes the incident really did happen she immediately tries to minimize it or say that it was my fault somehow. Then, she completely blows it off and comes back with a problem that she's having or complains about some physical ailment, etc. Its just wrong.

I will (probably) be able to fake it in a while, but right now I feel like I can only see her as a woman who did this to her kids, not "my mother". I have physical scars on my body from times where it was absolutely her fault for the injury or not having proper care for the wound, so I'm scarred. I was teased for those scars too, even tho I've tried to never let it bother me too much. I was always told that many things were my or my sis's fault but I can now see that she failed in her responsibilities and my sis & I have paid & paid. Well, thats over. I've had enough of that supposed lovely mother/daughter relationship & am healthier without her. It will be superficial from now on. It always has been I guess, but now I see that & won't invest my time trying to make her hear me, trying so hard to be important enough to her. I have been silently grieving my mom's love and approval for years and thats what I'm letting go. And, honestly, my kids will never spend time alone with her without me or my partner/husband.



In some cases, I can completely see how the adult child would NOT be better off keeping tied to an abusive relationship. There are truly horrific stories and some that don't *seem* so bad from an outsider's perspective, but its so individual. I don't think a lifetime of trying and being shot down or abused further is the blanket "right" thing to do.

OP, I hope you find more & more peace with your relationship. Hows it going with her these days? I'm so sorry to the countless people who live with this struggle.
post #30 of 32
Thread Starter 
OP here. I had to reply to a few things said here. I'm sad to read some of your stories. Big hugs to all of you who deal with this kind of pain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRosebud View Post
If you're certain you have a narcissistic mom, I would first read Dr. Karyl McBrides "Will I Ever Be Good Enough" Book and or get therapy.
I don't really think you post applies to my situation. My mother sometimes has narcissistic tendencies, but I don't think she is a narcissist. I think, in my mother's case, she had a bad model of parenting coupled with abuse in her past that has made her road a very difficult one. Unfortunately, the bulk of her hard times were before and during my childhood. She seems to be making a lot of strides now though. I also really think she is just not very socially graceful sometimes.


Quote:
What that habit is, is something very common amongst daughters of narcissistic mothers. It's self sabotage. And it can be very serious. To the point of the daughter becoming an alcoholic or other addict to drugs or food or whatever. This self sabotaging complex is described in Dr. McBrides book.
My form of self-sabotage was never learned how to take care of my own needs. I spent so much of my late teens and early twenties taking care of everyone else. DH was the one who finally taught me how to say "yes" to myself, even when it meant saying "no" to someone else.

Quote:
And, I've got to say that for a few of the posts I've read on this thread, some of you are lucky enough to have your mothers still calling you. Mine does not unless I guilt her into it -- which is shameful.
I agree with RiverTam that sometimes it is a blessing to have a mother who doesn't call. When my mother and I were in the hardest part of this repair, I was happy that she wasn't calling. My life was peaceful. I had space to think without her voice in my head all the time.

Quote:
One day our mothers won't be with us and they won't be able to see you as a fully bloomed rose and maybe at least not your own kids.
I have read your post three times now and I still can't figure out how this fits. For someone who says that self-sabotage is the worst thing about having a narcissistic or emotionally abusive mother, this rings as guilt about not having a relationship with your abuser! I'm sorry, but at some point you have to realize that you have a relationship with your mother not because she is your mother and she might die someday and leave you forever (which, let's face it, was the whole reason I did everything to please her in the first place - to keep her from leaving me) but because she enriches your life and respects and loves you. I wouldn't have a relationship with ANYONE who didn't fit that criteria, because my own mental health is just that important to me now.

I had to come to the point where I was more concerned about loving myself than making my mother love me. Only she could do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post
It really is tragic how many adults have to deal with issues left over from lack of good (or ANY!) parenting. All of you who've shared your stories here and on other threads -
Here here. And really, this topic fascinates me. It seems to be so rampant. I feel that raising emotionally healthy children is the biggest and most daunting task at hand. I really feel like a lot of this problem comes from societal norms about gender roles and roles of parents in children's lives. I feel like generations become more and more emotionally aware, but that makes everything more delicate. I am so scared that I am going to do to my kids what my mother did to me.

Quote:
OP, I hope you find more & more peace with your relationship. Hows it going with her these days? I'm so sorry to the countless people who live with this struggle.
Things actually have continued to get better. My mom is making some really amazing strides and I am so proud of her. I spent so long thinking about how she could be a better mother to ME; it's nice to step back and think about the fact that she is her own person too and she is growing every day. We've had a few slips, both of us, and we're still doing most of the tricky communicating by email, but she's even apologized for things she never would have before, or even talked to me about it.

I still have a lot of healing to do from my past with her, but now I feel a lot more confident about moving forward. I feel like it can be better, and I can appreciate that I am not the only one working on it. Most of the work I have to do now is on breaking my old habits. I feel so free.
post #31 of 32

Hello. I read your piece in the article. My mother and I have always had a tumulous relaltionship. I want to go to couseling but I know she wouldn't go and if she did that would hurt so bad, I love her, but I dont think I could ever hope of having a relationship with her if she told be no because that WOULD really prove to me that She doesn't love me very much. I know I would go for her.

 

Thanks for letting me vent. :meditate

 

Steph

post #32 of 32

Tigerchild, it's so lovely to see you still here.

Since actually having children I have neglected to come here much as I would like and it is great to see you, your advice is worth gold.

Jonathan911, excellent advice as well.

OP: I just wanted to say you have my sympathy.

Write the letter but don't send it. Have a serious sit down with yourself and figure out your boundaries.

Establish them and stick to them. Keeping things superficial is safer when dealing with emotionally abusive parents.

Take Care.

Trin.

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