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View Diary: The Private Side of Republican Crazy (130 comments)

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  •  Friend, friend, friend...I know you without (24+ / 0-)

    knowing you somehow. My mother and my childhood...my mother the poor poor fool. I know what you are talking about.

    She wants me to go visit her. I have a lifelong PTSD thanksto her insanity. How do you tell a delusional and abusive and aging mother that she is already dead to you? I dont miss her, don't want to see her...yet don't know...

    What do I do?

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 06:34:36 PM PDT

    •  I can totally relate. It's very, very difficult... (12+ / 0-)

      But I can't presume to advise you, except to say it's unhealthy to let guilt make the decision for you, like I did for far too long.

      This is where a good therapist, if you can find (and afford) one, might be really useful. But probably you've already gone that route.

      Sorry I can't be of more help. Hang in there!

      "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

      by pianogramma on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 06:55:08 PM PDT

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    •  You have to ask yourself this ... (13+ / 0-)

      Depending upon what I choose, how much guilt can I survive?

      Because you really must decide this based on how it will affect you afterward, perhaps the rest of your life. Not on how it will affect your mother, regardless of her condition.

      Because you are the only one whom you will have to live with forever, and guilt can crush your soul - even if the person whom you refuse is guilty of terrible things, things done to you when you were young and defenseless.


      "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

      by Angie in WA State on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 08:42:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a hard one... (15+ / 0-)

      Place sanity first.  

      My sister has problems with alcoholism, but she is nearest to my parents - and my very abusive mom always sends her into a tailspin. I actually wish my mom would die sooner rather than later, just to lesson the damage and risk to my sister.

      But guilt is real, too... and I feel it. Parents were always so powerful when we were children, but now the situation is reversed. We have a lot more agency, a lot more power, a lot more capacity. They are smaller, physically and emotionally. Sometimes actually seeing them dispels some of the voodoo. I don't know you and can't recommend a course of action - but after years of being estranged from my own parents, I do occasionally call them now and have seen them a couple times in the last few years. If it helps, I sometimes try to remember that they were once children too, and that someone once loved them... and visit them in memory of my grandparents as much as anyone else. I found that visiting them was not as difficult as I'd made it out to be, though I still procrastinate.  

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:24:39 AM PDT

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      •  Thank you for your comment (14+ / 0-)

        I am as you say the powerful one today and she is the weak one. She receives good care from my sister who lives with her (never married) and whose life she has destroyed by her control and emotional manipulation. I was physically and verbally abused by her when she was strong and I was a helpless child. Yeah. Beaten and left bleeding with scratches and bites all over my arms and hands. I used to see my mother as a wild animal that had to be restrained. Her words and emotional attacks were worse. And yeah she lived as a respectable member of the society. Still does.

        I ran away from home at a rather grown up age to save myself and since then it has been the long road to self healing while she is always "there"

        I didn't turn into her. Did not abuse my kids and have a pretty mild personality (her exact opposite).

        She has not changed, not sorry, still delusional and still demanding which does not help but further alienate me. Last time I visited her was years ago. I call her briefly on the weekends. Yet after each call no matter how short it is I tense and tighten up with anxiety. She still does her verbal needling, the put downs which makes me want to puke.

        I need her and her memory to leave me once and all. I need closure and never to look back again.

        "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

        by zenox on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:17:28 AM PDT

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        •  I'm so sorry (13+ / 0-)

          you're in this situation. From reading what you wrote about your physical abuse as a child, it sounds like your mother has long been mentally ill. If that is true, I don't see how you could possibly communicate effectively with her. It's clearly not your fault, but made much more difficult by our culturally imposed glowing ideals of motherhood.

          You are not the crazy one, but an heroic survivor who obviously cares about others. I hope you will take care of yourself during this time of painfully mixed feelings. Of course, I am not a professional, but this might be a good time to talk to one if you can.

          "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

          by cotterperson on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:45:26 AM PDT

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          •  I do read and research about these things. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cotterperson, Penny GC

            I am also a Jung fan. I am not a professional but I do believe my mother is suffering from borderline personality disorder in addition to paranoid narcisizm.

            Here is one memory: I was in junior high preparing to go to school in the morning of the last day of the school year before the beginning of the long summer break during which I wouldn't see most of my classmates. So that day was important and we were to have food and fun and games and say goodbye to each other for the summer. My mother watched me get ready in excitement and just before I walked out the door she said I couldn't go since there were no classes scheduled that day.

            That was it. I couldn't go. When my face sunk in horror I saw the quick glimpse of a malicious grin on her face. Yeah my emotional distress gave her pleasure. That was schadenfreude.

            My deep distress gratified her.She liked hurting others.

            Schadenfreude, especially at the expense of your child is "evil."

            I am not sure if there is a remedy for that...

            How did I survive? I read books. Many many books, classics, encyclopedias maps to dream about worlds.

            I have a very rich imagination as the result ...:))

            "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

            by zenox on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:12:16 PM PDT

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            •  That's beyond schadenfreude. It's sadism. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cotterperson, zenox, Creosote

              Your mother didn't merely enjoy your misfortune, she created it. Sounds like an incurable personality disorder to me.

              "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

              by pianogramma on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:35:01 PM PDT

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              •  Yeah. I was too young to figure it out then (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pianogramma, cotterperson

                ...but I knew something was deeply screwed up with what happened. Kids know.

                I know now that "evil" has a need for hurting others for no reason other than hurting others. It feeds on it.  It is a choice. It is willful.

                Today, what is happening in the Congress is the same kind. They know they are hurting people and they do it anyway not because they think it makes sense but because they can and it is gratifying to them.

                Racism? Same. Desire for more wars? Same.  Koch brothers? Same? Scalia? Same. Cheney? Same.

                Insanity? Yes. But willful. There is no remedy for fixing it unless a miracle comes from within. It is what it is. It is motivated by its desire to hurt others. That's where its nourishment comes from.

                To me, human kind has one true enemy. And it is that, the one I faced as a kid.

                It can show up anywhere, even in the guise of a mother.

                Thank you all for reading. And don't worry for me. As the song goes, " what doesn't kill you make you stronger." I now want to put my experience in good use. By raising awareness of the damned thing.

                "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

                by zenox on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:01:07 PM PDT

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            •  How mean!! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zenox

              I just can't imagine that, really, but I'm glad to hear you found other realities by reading! I'm a Jung fan myself and a former junior high remedial reading teacher to boot, so I especially admire your choice ;)

              All the very best to you!

              "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

              by cotterperson on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:18:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Consider that people who don't know themselves (5+ / 0-)

      do not actually know what they want or where their interest lies. Their speech is often parrot-like; they repeat what they hear other people say. If someone mentions a visit from a relative, that serves as a prompt for a request for a visit which, by the time it happens, is forgotten and obviously unwanted.
      Do what you think best for yourself and for whoever else is caring for your relative. If a caring person asks for help, try to be accommodating.
      Guilt is a useless emotion, except for when people use it to dominate someone else by forcing them to engage in a disgusting act.

      De gustibus non est disputandum. If something is not to your taste (disgusting), there is no dispute. Just leave it be. Self-preservation is a right. Exacting obedience is abusive.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:56:26 AM PDT

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    •  Forgive... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Penny GC, zenox
      She wants me to go visit her. I have a lifelong PTSD thanks to her insanity. How do you tell a delusional and abusive and aging mother that she is already dead to you? I don't miss her, don't want to see her...yet don't know...

      What do I do?

      I'm not trying to be glib, seriously. Try forgiving her, alone at first, then to her face if you can pull it off. This will potentially allow you to forgive yourself.

      Look closely at yourself, and I'll bet that there is some deeply hidden self-blame lurking in your sub-consciousness, dragging you down. Virtually every child raised by an abusive parent struggles with guilt-imposed-from-outside. I did.

      You meet them halfway with love, peace and persuasion, and expect them to rise for the occasion ~ Van Morrison

      by paz3 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:51:50 AM PDT

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      •  this is not to dispute your assertion about guilt (7+ / 0-)

        imposed from outside. But sometimes people who haven't themselves experienced child abuse fail to grasp that its emotional damage typically includes being taught to forgive without expecting any apology in return and without anticipating any change of behavior by the forgiven person. Such an ingrained inclination to forgive is self-defeating and harmful. People who have been chronically abused as children often need to learn NOT to forgive, before they can make sense of what happened to them.

        As one who has worked (on a volunteer basis) with victims of felony-level domestic violence, I hesitate to advise any victim of abuse to forgive his or her abuser. Yes, forgiveness can be liberating and healthy under the right conditions. But those conditions may not be attainable for some.

        "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

        by pianogramma on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:52:59 AM PDT

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        •  Forgiveness Pt II (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zenox
          being taught [learning] to forgive without expecting any apology in return and without anticipating any change of behavior by the forgiven person.
          Ironic, as forgiveness without expecting response or change from the 'other' is a sign of non-self centered, healthy spiritual growth.

          I'll sure defer to your experience, some are not in a psychological position to for give an abuser; however, the person that I responded to seemed like someone who might resonate a bit with a potentially liberating 'out' for their dilemma.

          You meet them halfway with love, peace and persuasion, and expect them to rise for the occasion ~ Van Morrison

          by paz3 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:00:18 PM PDT

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          •  ironic indeed (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Penny GC, zenox, Creosote
            forgiveness without expecting response or change from the 'other' is a sign of non-self centered, healthy spiritual growth
            We haven't defined what we mean by forgiveness here, so forgive me if I misunderstand. One person's healthy spiritual growth is another person's ticket to emotional confusion and depression. In the case of the person to whom you responded, forgiveness might reinforce the abusive maternal delusional system (I'm never responsible for anything bad; I didn't do anything worth getting upset about; you shouldn't be angry at me) still echoing in her head.

            "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

            by pianogramma on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:28:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for stating this so clearly. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pianogramma

          I've heard of therapists telling patients they must forgive an abuser or else they can never be truly cured, and have felt how repellant such kinds of forced forgiveness are.

          For a person raised to be obedient as a test of will,  forgiveness of that kind stifles the sort of assertiveness that makes real work and caring possible.

          •  You're welcome. It's an important point. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Creosote

            For anyone who has been bullied into believing her abuse is either misperceived (therefore she's stupid or crazy) or well deserved (therefore her misery is her own fault), exhortations to forgive the abuser merely reinforce the DV pathology. This can be fatal in a felony DV situation. I've seen it be fatal. It's what every judge fears, when confronted with a victim who has forgiven her assailant and now stands before the court, pleading to have the No Contact Order lifted.

            When the violence is primarily emotional, as in my case, the suggestion that the victim is somehow defective or selfish when she has finally broken through to the point of directing her anger toward her abuser instead of exclusively toward herself is profoundly toxic.

            Furthermore, it is impossible to forgive delusional abusers like my parents or zenox's mother to their face, because they believe they've done nothing that merits an apology. The very idea of forgiving them will be taken as an insult.

            "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

            by pianogramma on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 06:30:17 AM PDT

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            •  Yes, I completely agree. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pianogramma, Lonely Texan

              As a reader and admirer of many analytic writers from DWW to Bion, Bollas, and Ogden, I am certain that absence or refusal of early attachment, especially in the years before language, can play an immense part in all this, as the child is driven to attempt to repair the parent - or the abusive partner - in order to find someone to finally begin to live and think with.

              See also the book The Telescoping of Generations . . .

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