Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Forced distance

I am worried about being enmeshed with my mother again.  She is using every emotional trick she taught me.  I watch her performance and remind myself that she is so good at it because of years of practice and she believes it in the moment.  Emotional blackmail works best if there is a grain of truth to the statements.  Every so often I throw out a hard truth and watch how she responds.  She recoils from truth.  Timely reminders for myself to not believe her manipulations.  Some days I feel awful that I distrust her so completely.  The inner child wants to believe.  Then I remind myself about the story of walking down a road and falling in the hole. 

“I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.”

Portia Nelson, There's a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

I'm not walking down another street yet.  Thanks to my very hectic schedule I am taking several days off from visiting.  I am walking around the deep hole.  I know what I am looking at.  I feel sad.  I am thankful for the forced distance I am placing between me and my mother.  It will be my fault if I allow myself to be sucked in again. 


Tundra Woman said...

So now "she who will not be ignored" will blow up your phone! Sometimes I had to actually remind myself I was a bona fide GROWN UP, an Adult, equal to every other adult out there including my own "she who will not be ignored." That was quite a massive realization, actually.

The road you have chosen is extraordinarily difficult, Ruth. I know I would have to constantly remind myself to step back, don't answer the phone right away or every call, don't engage etc. It would take massive daily if not hourly reminders and energy to not respond-particularly to emotional bait because that will reinforce the manipulative behavior. Sure she knows what she's doing, sure she demands you play along with her game of Let's Pretend You're a Doll/ Inanimate Object I can abuse any way I want and it hurts. Horribly. Every.Single.Time.

I have no words wisdom if I ever did for LC; flunked out of that class for sure after I had a stroke. I accepted there was no hope for someone who would insist I violate my conscience, who fed off inflicting pain on her child, who was determined I would never equal her in success, education, income etc. and was determined to destroy me in every way. I know better than to tangle with a known evil-meaning malevolent. I would not leave mine without the basics-but it would be done anonymously through third parties like Office for the Aging.

She's not gonna approve of you or love you in health and certainly not in illness. Or any other way. I'm sorry, {{Ruth.}}
Her loss.

Ruth said...

I'm in luck, she doesn't call me. She also won't come to my house, even when invited. So I have to go to her. Or I choose not to. I agree TW, no easy answers. Walking completely away has its own set of difficulties. Some days I wish I made that choice. Then I remind myself why I stay at low contact. Breathe.

mulderfan said...

Odds are you'll never be completely rid of that "decent human being gene", Ruth. I've accepted mine as nothing to be ashamed of but, a bit like a chronic illness, it resurfaces now and then and has to be managed.
IMO you're doing a pretty good job!

Meanwhile, I'm halfway off the hook, with my manipulative mum gone and my dad busy dodging the hit man my younger brother has hired to kill him. My parents believed it was my duty to call them and my dad no longer takes any calls because it might be the hit man checking to see if he's home.

Hang on to your sense of humour and you'll be fine, Ruth!

Ruth said...

Working at putting my sense of humor back into place. Thanks.