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Author Topic: Woah... this has nothing to do with her now.  (Read 331 times)
beinggentle
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« on: January 31, 2013, 02:45:13 PM »

Claire's post has really triggered something for me. Thanks and hugs to you Claire. I just had an 'OH MY GOD.' moment.

This weekend I spoke with my uBPD mom. What started off as a nice conversation quickly turned sideways. Surprise surprise. That started a funk (again great word, Claire!) that I'm only just pulling out of now.

What made me stop in my tracks just now was realizing that I am turning 45 years old this summer. And then it just hit me like a ton of bricks. This means that my mom has been moaning - for 45 YEARS - about how hard it was to have so many babies and toddlers in the house, and how she never got enough sleep, how tired she was. Well, those of you with an uBPD parent can relate I'm sure. 45 YEARS. That's only a stone's throw to 50, people! 45 years of feeling like a victim; 45 years of holding onto that hard enough that she never looked inside and saw her own power; 45 years that the wonderful things she's achieved in her life STILL takes a back seat to whining about how hard she had it when we were babies. That is really, really sad.

But what's sadder is that I've been agonizing over it too - for darn close to that same number of years. I'm the one who picks up where she leaves off when we talk. It's MY internal thoughts and beliefs that kick up and start mimicking mom, making me feel more and more worthless and listless by the minute. And it's MY life those thoughts and feelings and beliefs are wasting. By repeating all that awful, dehumanizing stuff I learned from HER to myself what happens? My life REMAINS all about her!

When I think about all the hours I've wasted feeling so low I can't even move - gosh cumulatively I bet it's YEARS worth - well that's just making me ANGRY!

I REFUSE to make my life about her for one more minute! My life has nothing to do with those old awful messages she gave me - inadvertently or not. I have nothing to do with those messages. They are not me, and I am not them. Should they come and pester me again I'll consider all out war. I will beat them back with everything I have. It's all up to me now. And I have the strength and support around me I can do it. I know I can now.
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maria1
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 03:28:59 PM »

Good for you Beinggentle- awesome realisations there!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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myself
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 07:47:56 PM »

You're not your mom. You're You. You're right. That stuff is hers, not yours.

I went through this years ago, for many years, about my dad. Couldn't stand him. His attitudes, beliefs, behaviors. I fully admitted it, though, even to him. It wasn't until years later, with a really good T, that I saw I'd been hanging onto too much of the stuff about him that I didn't like, and it was weighing me down. Keeping me from being Me. Even though I wasn't trying to be like him, I was spending too much time trying to NOT be like him. So I finally set a lot of that stuff down.

Set it down, sent it off the edge as best I could and it was mostly gone. I still hear echoes once in awhile but they're too far away to do much except remind me how far I've come from hanging onto so much of that old stuff.

Reminds of the saying 'Misery loves company'. When you're with someone who's so miserable, in their own eyes, it can make you feel it, too, in your own ways, and... .  Who wants to be around either of you, then? Not even you.

What would help you get to feeling better about this now? Hopefully you're already doing so.

These are growing pains, as well. 'Be gentle' with yourself. Love those  Idea!  Follow through with who you really are!
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beinggentle
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2013, 08:54:49 PM »

Even though I wasn't trying to be like him, I was spending too much time trying to NOT be like him. So I finally set a lot of that stuff down.

Yes! That's exactly what I'm starting to realize and feel. Another thing hit me after I wrote this. I realized that everything she used to imply and complain about and accuse . . .  I bet it had more to do with her feelings in the moment she was in. And not the thing she was actually complaining about. If that makes sense?

I think the complaining and accusing and sympathy seeking - it was just the only way she knew how to interact with people. The only way she knew how to gain attention and feel like she mAttered. ? I mean, if you're complaining and fretting about how hard done by you are, and people come to your rescue. ... Well that a pretty powerful message for her. No wonder she is doing it still.

But the point is that the thing she was complaining about, it's just a red herring (if that's the right term?) I mean her whole schema is that she's been hard done by and taken advantage of because she's a mother. But I bet you that if she instead had been thru university and had some high powered job her whole life , she'd STILL have that same outlook and still be complaining.

So this whole week has been very freeing for me. I used to believe she complained and accused so much because she legitimately had such an unfair life. I'm deeply getting now that she didn't have it any worse than any of us. And that it is the mental disorder that makes her see her life as being so unfair.

So thanks again so much. I do feel quite solid with this new understanding. It leaves me with a lot more energy to keep noticing and caring for my own feelings; now that I'm not so preoccupied with what I think hers might or might not be. Hugs! BG
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Claire
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 09:57:26 AM »

I REFUSE to make my life about her for one more minute! My life has nothing to do with those old awful messages she gave me - inadvertently or not. I have nothing to do with those messages. They are not me, and I am not them. Should they come and pester me again I'll consider all out war. I will beat them back with everything I have. It's all up to me now. And I have the strength and support around me I can do it. I know I can now.

Being Gentle, what an awesome revelation!  Smiling (click to insert in post) This paragraph is seriously SO inspiring and just exudes health and truth and confidence!

There was a point not long ago where I had a similar realization that I am the only one responsible for my life. Sure, mom & her BPD explain a LOT about my past and have honestly controlled most of it. I can't change that. But I can consciously choose to control my actions today in an independent, healthy way.

Also I wanted to share a picture a T gave me once. She said, imagine your life is over and you get to heaven and God asks you to give an account of what you did in your life. Are you going to point at your mom?

Just found that a really helpful perspective... .  

Keep at it, beinggentle! Thanks for the inspiration Smiling (click to insert in post)

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beinggentle
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013, 11:51:44 AM »

Thanks Claire,

Yes, taking personal responsibility for our lives seems so important now. I think though I couldn't have gotten to where I felt strong enough to, until I handed some responsibility back to those who helped mess it all up first! Now the load seems a lot lighter! Smiling (click to insert in post)

One thing your post also reminded me of is what I was thinking of this morning. I was thinking about how I grew up believing that so many negative things about myself and my life were 'facts', and not just 'beliefs'.

It made me realize that my mom was also therefore under her own system of beliefs. Beliefs that she also, thought of as 'facts' in error. And in doing so, has made much of her life miserable. It's like, when we consider them as facts, our lives close up around us. Things become so rigid and inflexible. It's so dis-empowering; I think it prevents us from being able to take responsibility for a lot of things because we end up believing we don't have ability to make changes, or the ability to influence them and our lives for the better.

But the new ability I have from therapy, to be able to discern between those two things - facts and beliefs - have been absolutely fundamental to be able to change my thoughts and behaviors. And therefore be able to TAKE responsibility for my life. And it gives me another reason to feel compassion for my mother. I wish she would have had some sort of ability or insight to be able to see how much help she could have used. And how much more ability to see the happiness in her life, and be able to create more.

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Claire
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 12:36:11 PM »

"Facts vs. beliefs" - love it! I think the concept has been milling around in my mind for a while, but putting words to it takes it to the next level, creates something other than a concept to come back to.

And I loved your part about being able to understand your own mom better, and even feel compassion for her. It's so true! We learned so much from our families, including how to interpret every event in life. If we observed our moms mistaking beliefs for facts all the time, that's EXACTLY how we learned it. It's what we thought was "normal".  And for some reason, we have found our ways to healthier thinking, while they have not (yet... .  ?). I seriously am so thankful not to be as stuck as she is, but at the same time, why do I deserve that while she suffers on through life... .  

I also just wanted to point out that having such a view of our moms is a sign of a TON of growth For me, it took a lot of work to get to the point of not being so "stuck" on the past and my own personal issues with my mom, that I could take that "outsider" perspective and actually feel sorry for her.  More and more that is how I view her. And I sometimes forget what a big step that is... .  so just thought I'd point that out Smiling (click to insert in post)

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beinggentle
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2013, 01:11:37 PM »

And for some reason, we have found our ways to healthier thinking, while they have not (yet... .  ?). I seriously am so thankful not to be as stuck as she is, but at the same time, why do I deserve that while she suffers on through life... .  

Yes, I struggle with those thoughts sometimes too. It's almost like survivor guilt, isn't it. Hmm. What would my therapist say to that? I don't think that our struggle for our health means that we believe they didn't deserve their own. Because I think that's where the guilt comes in doesn't it? To me it's just more of the same unhealthy belief pattern... .  

... .  the belief that if I have something good (no matter how hard-won it was to attain it), I can't enjoy it because mom had something bad to deal with.

Again, those darn beliefs. I think my therapist would also say it's really really crucial that we allow ourselves to enjoy our good health. I think taking the time to celebrate our hard work makes the struggles we face with our moms and others easier to bear. We have that foundation of strength and good self-will to draw upon. Maybe that helps us with our compassion for them too.

Still, I can really appreciate what you're saying. It is a sad thing to see. And I wish my mom would have been able to find a healthier road too. But by enjoying ours I don't think we should look at it as leaving them behind. Maybe it's more like creating a light for them to see, so maybe they can find their way out of it?
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