3rd August 2021 at 8:26 am #129551
After acknowledging, apologising, therapy, reading extensively about emotional parentification, emeshment etc., I have realised the apologies I constantly make to my daughter are getting me nowhere
My daughter is an adult and after my seperation from her father and being completely self sufficient with regard to support since as far as she is concerned, it seems no matter what I say or do it will never be enough
She’s had years of very expensive counselling, who have pointed out it seems it was more my fault(detail removed by moderator) To put this in context, she does’nt speak to him or have any contact
She is an intelligent woman, more so I would say than I am, but has some personality traints that seem to reflect her father’s personality
I am torn by trying for sometime now to accept everything thrown at me because I do realise I should of left him but also I have to forgive myself for this as there were so many reasons/factors as to why which I understand but I guess she doesnt
(Detail removed by moderator) another thing was revealed that apparently (detail removed by moderator) at times that triggers her feelings (detail removed by moderator) I was only telling her (detail removed by moderator) something I was’nt conscious of doing but now realise I do thing interracting with friends etc! I find myself today questioning the way I talk, act etc.,
She is constantly warming to me, being in contact, asking for my support etc, I think we are getting somewhere and then she withdraws, won’t answer my texts (which I keep to a minimum to respect her space etc) and we go for days/ weeks again with no contact
I try not to get upset about this yoyoing but I am starting to realise that this in itself is a kind of abuse – its affecting my mental health but I dont have the strength to tell her outright as I dont want to damage our fragile relationship
She is an only child and we were always so very close, likely too close (according to research I have done into parentification etc?
The latest revelation that the way I talk is enough to set us back has triggered deep feelings of sadness in me and I actually feel angry that again I am back in that place of self loathing and doubt. I have worked so hard to stand on my own 2 feet and be the confident woman I should of always been but there are personality traints that I find so hard to deal with and understand to the extent I am not sure I even like the person I love most in the world (a very familiar feeling but one I have never felt towards her)
Are there any Mums out there who can identify with my situation? Do you have any advice?
3rd August 2021 at 2:10 pm #129564KIP.Participant
Sadly yes I can sympathise with you. You need to get your own oxygen mask on first before you help others and it may be, like I had to do with my son, that you don’t contact her. You back way off and if she continues to abuse you then you will need to ask her not to contact you until she stops the abuse. I love my son and always will but that doesn’t mean I have to accept abuse. After decades from his father I refuse to allow it to happen again.
3rd August 2021 at 9:26 pm #129587LivinginhopeParticipant
Hi, it sounds like you both love each other but have suffered from the trauma of abuse abs this is what’s causing these difficulties in your relationship… neither of you will be too blame. If you can, keep an open door to her and expect little. That way your feelings will be a bit protected but you are still sending the message that you’re her mum and you love her. Try not to focus on what May have been said in counselling, and whether you are doing anything wrong. Listen to what your daughter has to say but just be yourself abs try not to be too hard on yourself. Focus on building up yourself as KIP says. I’m so sorry for what you are going through. My daughter is very small but can be very loving but also very rejecting and unkind. I understand this is her complex reaction to our situation and I’m trying to make sure she knows I love her and I’m here for for her. Don’t give up hope that things can get better.
5th August 2021 at 7:19 am #129646
Both your messages are much appreciated and you have given me strength x I have kept a respectful distance but remained present which I will continue to do. But as Kip says I do acknowledge that I need to protect myself – its a fine line and not easy but I will never turn my back on her…being a Mum is the hardest of jobs isnt it?! I just hope we can both reach a point of understanding and peace in the not too distant future as every step forward seems to involve a step or 2 back which is frankly exhausting me! But yes thank you and love to you both x
5th August 2021 at 7:15 pm #129675KIP.Participant
Yes being a mother is so very difficult. Sadly my son learned from his abusive father and boundaries had to be set. He knows he’s welcome in my life but not as my abuser and it’s up to him to accept that. It’s difficult when they’ve witnessed abuse but that does not give them the right to abuse us and sometimes setting and sticking to those boundaries is the wake up they need. Remember we are all responsible for our own actions and that includes your adult daughter. It’s sad when they think they can step into the shoes of the abuser. I think you’re doing the right thing by keeping your distance. Refusing to be abused isn’t turning your back on her, it’s a valuable lesson x
14th December 2021 at 10:00 pm #135583KayeParticipant
I have been feeling a mixture of feelings about my daughter. I sometimes feel that I don’t really agree with her perceptions. She often compares what she is doing to what I did in my teenage years which I like to tell her about. The fact that I didn’t go out much and preferred to study or read books. She says that she feels like I am judging her because she often goes out with her friends to night clubs and drinks. I said to her that is her choice and I don’t stop her. I can’t understand why she is saying that she thinks that I am judging her? The other day she said that I had tried to be a perfect daughter to my overbearing Christine mother. I don’t accept that reasoning because I feel I did a lot of things for myself. I am confused why she says she thinks I am judging her? I have said to her be safe and look after yourself when you go out and tell her that I hope she has a good time.
14th December 2021 at 10:04 pm #135584KayeParticipant
So to continue. Am I being an overbearing mother. I can’t get my head around this one.
14th December 2021 at 10:21 pm #135588
I really get from your posts that you need a very professional, trauma informed, independent person to help you both to work through at least some of the damage and complexities of living through abuse from a life partner/growing up in.
You both have different perspectives on the world, and I believe it take abused children a lot longer to mature emotionally because of the abuse they’ve suffered and the ways they’ve learnt to behave and manage for themselves. They need to work through huge anger for their suffering, and you have always wanted to protect but suffered the same as her.
As a partner, you are placed on the same level as the children, by an abuser, which strips you of power in the eyes of the children, which they will naturally abuse, as this is what they saw, learnt and modelled, so powerfully. Remembering that you were all living in survival mode, and had to act for the best in each instance, rather than to discuss, talk, support, plan, compromise. There’s no room for emotions in abuse, and it will take time for her to learn to let hers out; yes, she lets her feelings known, but her most vulnerable feelings that come out in anger and defence, will take time to come through, and sometimes its too much pressure on already fragile relationships.
Could you seek support from your GP to ask best ways forward? Is this something that the helpline can help to locate services for you? You could both attend the freedom programme, either separately or together, maybe best separately, so that you are both clear on abusive tactics, it will help you both enormously.
If you show her commitment to this, not by putting up with her abuse, but by saying how you are going to tackle this, by speaking with professionals and educating yourself and so on. Its also a good exercise to ask her for her boundaries, and you can make a written agreement together, just stick to letting her write down her stuff, and you yours (simple stuff like, I don’t want to be shouted at it upsets me, I don’t want to feel physically threatened, and so on). She will likely have the same wishes as you, and it can be quite bonding to realise this and a place to move forward from, but if she doesn;t want to engage, you are on your own with your own progress and you should very much continue with that, it will make her behaviours easier/less triggering for you to manage too, and give you clear boundary lines to know where you stop and she begins.
I feel your pain I really do, and there is still hope, but as you say, the future needs to be based on a life without abuse.
warmest wishes TS
14th December 2021 at 10:22 pm #135589
Sorry that was primarily in response to Skyfish’s thread, but it can also apply to you Kaye
14th December 2021 at 10:34 pm #135593
Can you tell me what you think of her going out?
You say that you say to her ‘its your choice’, and ‘stay safe’, but do you talk with her about the fun she’s had, or would you find that difficult? I mean you stop short of saying anything really. Saying to her ‘its your choice’ does to me sound like you are not in agreement. She’s picking up on something that you are holding back on. What would it be?
I tend to think that someone gets a vibe in their gut and they’re probably right. Not that you’re overbearing as I really can’t see that from your post, but that if she’s feeling you judging her, maybe consider what you really feel about her going out? Does it make you happy that she’s out socialising and having fun with her friends?
Just some things to consider
warmest wishes TS
29th December 2021 at 7:36 pm #136226
This journey brings so many revelations! – i am shocked reading my post as the insight i now have as to why she is reacting the way she is is so obvious
we try to protect out children over the years and in my case due to his poor mental health and inconstant behaviour i truly believed i was doing the best for all of us to keep us together – after all i would’nt have had my beautiful child without him would i?
Following another recent incident where my boundries were not respected by my ex so i had to take action to proect myself the reaction i got when i had to explain it to my adult daughter (before someone else did!) astounded me! So now i am the villain because the poor man is all alone and has lost everything??
With reflection its because all parties in the family cant deal with us taking a stand and being strong – when we leave and no longer take responsibility for these abusive men the backlash and anger is because they don’t know who we are anymore and they have to take responsibilty instead! (not my daughter exactly but his relatives)
Just another life lesson i guess but of course for our children, regardless of what they’ve seen and know to be the truth, they love their parent and our refusal to deal with the c**p anymore can feel i think a form of rejection to them too
Leaving an abusive long term partner just causes so much stress its often easier not too! That’s what kept me where i was for way too long…to anyone reading this keep strong and know you are doing the right thing for you and your children
29th December 2021 at 8:00 pm #136227maddogParticipant
My children are now old enough to gain more independence. That difficult bit of growing up when they’re physically maturing, their brain is all over the place, and it’s more like dealing with a 3 year old with heft and attitude.
Much as we may love our children, it certainly doesn’t mean we have to like them. The scars of abuse run deep and although we’re all experiencing the same thing, we’re looking at it from very different places. I liken it to a group of people drawing the same still life. All interpretations will be different.
Many of us stayed in an abusive relationship for far too long. I know I thought about it, and brushed the idea firmly under the carpet.
Please find ways to be kind to yourself. It’s not your fault. Families are complicated, and we don’t know who we’ve brought into the world.
30th December 2021 at 7:28 am #136242
true statement indeed!
I think also with just the one they feel everything so much more acutely, there is no one else to give their prospective
i will continue to recover and hold my truth without the need for validation from anyone else, because you can be sure that will be lacking from alot of those around you
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