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Mad


Buttons

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I made a mistake last night. I agreed to have dinner with my parents for New Year's day. I know it was their attempt to make up for the family Christmas party they cancelled this year that left me so devestated.

Not only did my father refer to everyone who has an eating disorder as crazy...to which I told him I had one and he just retorted "You do not!"...., but my mother told me that therapy was useless than that it "changes" people for the worst.

We were talking in the kitchen and she was mentioning how she was worried about my sister, who is in a bad relationship with someone right now but unable to leave due to severely low self esteem. I said that I felt that my sister really needed to talk to someone, meaning a therapist, about it. She said, "I don't believe in that, they just make you believe whatever they want", knowing full well that I've been in therapy for 2.5 years. I said to her that I know first hand that it does work, and she said "well....i just think it changes people for the worse....you can't go by someone you see a few times a month". I said if it wasn't for my therapist, I'd be dead right now. I said he's helped fill a void that was missing that no one else was able to give me. And I walked away.

I left for the basement and cried for a bit. I was so mad and so hurt by that. I've been telling her for weeks how depressed I am and she changes the subject every time. As I was coming back up the stairs (I left my poor fiancé alone with my drunk father...), she stopped me at the top and asked if something was wrong. I told her yes, that she had offended me, and I explained why. She appologised but then went on to say that i make her feel like everything is her fault, that I'm mean to her on the phone all the time, and that when i say i want to die, i have to understand how much that hurts her....essentially making me feel bad and completely turning the tables. I repeatedly told her she need to support my decision to go to therapy and that she needs to trust that I'm not being manipulated. She refused to agree or beleive me...she just ended by saying she was sorry but "you have to understand how this makes me feel". I told her yes just to get out of the conversation.

I cried most of the day. She doesn't love me for who I am...she says I've changed since i've gone to therapy. Everyone else says i've changed for the best. She says she feels like she's losing me and that she is worried. She just doesn't like the new more confident me. I've never ever been so hurt by her....and she doesn't even understand.

I am not mean to her on the phone. The only reason she calls me is to complain about my father or work or anything that's bothering me. She uses me as her personal therapist, yet she won't listen to my issues.

Sorry, I just had to vent because i'm really upset right now. I'm all mixed up, maybe none of this makes sense at all....but I'm hurting so much right now. I was having such a good day yesterday, for the first time in over a month, and then she ruined it. Both my parents did. My dad laughs in my face, and my mother only loves me when I "go with the flow". She only loves the idea of me that she's created....not the me who thinks for herself and forms her own opinions.

I'm in so much emotional pain.

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Dear Buttons,

I'm sorry they still continue hurting you... :o

I've read somewhere that therapy sometimes destroys relationships, because it changes the patient and his/her relatives or, most often partner, can't 'cope' with the change. But it means that the relationships were based on something wrong - on the depression, low self-esteem, ... that were painful for the patient but advantageous for his/her partner/... . The same happens to you, with your mother. The big difference between this case and the one when it concerns the partner is that you can't really 'split' with your mother as you could with your partner (if he was the one upset with your change). I hope your therapist will help you to overcome this big challenge... It's a challenge, as it's something that tries to get you back to the depression and low self-esteem and self-blame, ... by an emotional intimidation/chantage. I hope that you'll understand that your mother wants 'the old you' because she (and your dad) was the one who 'created' you this way, who made from you the kind of person she 'needed', ignoring your needs. I hope that understanding this will help you to resist to her critics and attempts to 'withdraw' you from your therapy.

I see it this way: You hurt so much because of her attitude, because you still want to please her, you want her to be contented by your good changes, ... - you still have your 'old' motivation in you. But as it was her (with your father) who 'induced' in you this motivation, this behavior, now, when you're healing yourself from all the long emotional pain, you really should stop caring about how she (they) feels (feel) about it. It's your change, it's your life, you feel the benefits and that's the most important. :)

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It sounds like your mother feels threatened and that the new "you" will abandon her. Maybe you could find a success story out there on the web of a daughter who went through a huge positive transformation because of Therapy and ended up loving and understanding themselves and others more, including their mother. Just a thought.

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Sorry I haven't responded sooner...I've been offline for a bit.

I had two therapy sessions this week and I chose to focus on this confrontation I had with my mom. My therapist said that I would benefit from some time apart from my mother, or at least less contact. She is sabotaging the work that has already been done (and paid for $$$!) whether intentionally trying to hurt me or not. I'm sure in her heart of hearts, she believes she is doing the right thing and "saving" me from therapy. But regardless of that, she is still causing damage and more trauma to me. So, my therapist says that I need to look at it this way: mom will never change. So if I continue to see her, she will continue to hurt me. I need to put my needs in front of hers, and therefore, that's my justification for reducing my contact with her. It's in my best interest. Essentially, I've been putting her needs in front of mine because I feel insignificant. My therapist, bless his heart, is convincing me that I matter. It's hard though. I've felt so worthless for so long....years.....since I was a pre-teen. So having someone tell me I matter and at least half convincing me is such a strange feeling. It feels good and it hurts at the same time. I can't explain that.

LaLa, you are right...I do want to please her. My therapist has been trying to figure out why. I think I am scared of not having a relationship with her because I so badly want a loving mother and father. But in reality, I will never have the parents I want. I have to let go a bit in order to move on and get better, and start to heal.

Athena, mom is threatened by me. She is threatened by anyone who will stand up to her. She panics and her instinct is to manipulate or try to knock me down. She feels that she is losing control of me, which she is, and she doesn't like that. The problem with my mother is she's the most stubborn person I know. You cannot sway her opinion once it's solid. She truly does not care about my progress. All she wants is for me to suit her needs and forget about mine.

Just because she doesn't like the new me doesn't mean that I am not getting better. I am better in every way than I was 2 years ago. I need to focus on that. If it means staying away from her, then I guess that's what I need to do.

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