Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Surviving the Battle of Family

Well, if you've read my previous post, then you know my mother went off on me. She blamed me for everything in her life that's gone bad, right down to dying. Actually, I didn't know I had the power to make someone die of old age. I guess the trick is to get someone to "age". Anyway, she sliced me up emotionally and trashed the pieces. Most of it I weathered quite well but she knew I was maintaining and I think she kept finding accusations to throw at me just to tear me down. The comment about my Dad thinking me horrible was the last straw.

So after giving the entire sleepless night to replaying this over and over in my head, I decided to call my older brother. He often takes my place as family target and we were close as kids. The next day, I called him and he said he was glad to hear from me. I explained why I'd called, which was to ask him to tell "his" mother that the next time she wants to hurt someone, or she gets her feelings hurt, or she doesn't agree with a decision I or my daughter makes, not to call me - I don't want to know.

He told me he doesn't want to get involved, but I know he can't resist jumping into the foray with "I know something you don't know". That's his only way of getting the upper hand with the rest of them - a way to "buy" respect from the other warriors. It's only temporary, tho, and he won't realize it until they turn on him with accusations of "Why didn't you tell her...?"  Suddenly, he will become the messenger whom they will need to beat up to release their misplaced anger toward me.

I didn't do that to him just to get the rest of them to gang up on him. I did it to survive. I can't survive when my mother calls only for the purpose of dredging up pain and blame from the depths of my childhood. On the good side, Mr.S says it's good that my brother and I talked. We haven't talked for 3 1/2 years - all because of his reaction to finding out a man he liked, abused me. I have 3 more siblings, I haven't talked to them in as many years either. Life shouldn't have to be so difficult when it comes to family, yet they are the most difficult to deal with.



jumpinginpuddles said...

oh man i can see why not talking to your mum is a reprieve she sounds so dysfunctional.

Exhale said...

I am glad you where able to talk to your brother it sucks the power family has in our lifes. I read a book that really helped called "facing shame, families in recovery" if your interested check it out...I am sorry your mum was mean to you.

Michael Finley said...

>>Life shouldn't have to be so difficult when it comes to family, yet they are the most difficult to deal with.

I was thinking of this the other day. It occurred to me that the rest of the world treats me much better. Perhaps I should spend my time with the rest of the world not only in physical presence but in my mind and thoughts.

Ivory said...

It is definitely a step backwards to have to interact with them in anyway. It takes me days to get over it.

Thanks for the book suggestion, I think I'm going to do some research on it and possible get it for my mother for Christmas.

In the perfect family (the one I long for in my mind) my mother and my siblings would have supported me, would have at least asked if I was okay, when they found out about the abuse. Just the opposite.

I live in the same county (only very small towns) as most of my family and I never see them. For the last 4 1/2 years, I've learned not to think about them much. When I do, it really hurts, that's why I keep shoving memories of them way way back where i can't see them.

Kate said...

Hi Ivory,

I am so sorry dear. I had a mother just like this. I am so sorry. My heart just aches for you. She is not good enough to be your mother. I'm glad that your are saying no. You have every right to make a boundary with her and her crazy accusations.

Good and healing thoughts to you.


Ivory said...


I hate that so much pain is inflicted by those we "love". Thanks so much for caring.