I’m Going To See My Mother
I run on a near daily basis. Miles upon miles fly by under my feet and while I run for exercise, I also run for a deeper purpose. I run because it is a very controlled way to deal with the anxieties of my past. For a long time, running was the only coping mechanism I had for the horrors that were forced upon me. Did you know that the most basic instinct we have as living creatures is our fight or flight response? Dating back to the creation of our existence, we as human beings have been programmed to protect our survival. Our brains are hardwired to tell us that if our very existence is being threatened we need to either fight or flight (escape, run, flee). Whether I was a child or a wife smaller than her husband, I always knew that fighting back wasn’t an option, so I had better get as far away from the situation as quickly as I could, and so I ran. I chose flight.
As I was growing up, when I could tell that the level of safety in my home was becoming unfavorable to my survival, I would run. I literally ran and I didn’t look back. I figuratively ran from my childhood into the arms of my abusive husband and then I literally ran from him on the many nights I escaped his grip and made my way out the door. Not to mention, if you spend any time living on the streets you will not only learn how to run, but you will learn how to run fast.
I can recall several times when I’m pretty sure running saved my life. My memories are littered with recollections of climbing out of my bedroom window, jumping down to the ground below, and slipping silently into the dark of night. I remember one time when I jumped from my ex’s moving car and after stumbling, I took off running as fast as my legs could carry me.
Giving into my “flight” mode has been a big part of what has kept me alive.
Obviously I am thankful for that, but what about now? Recently I’ve found myself in situations where I have literally run from things that brought up emotions similar to the one’s I felt during an assault. Last September after the first assault from the guy that my ex sent after me, I found myself sitting in the office of one of Mr. Attorney Man’s colleague’s. The colleague was asking me questions about the assault so quickly and with such directness that the emotions and fear I felt during the assault came exploding to the surface. The next thing I knew I found myself running to my car. You guys, I literally stood up in the middle of this man talking and RAN out of this guys office, down the stairs, and out of the building.
That is a perfect example of a flight or fight response going haywire.
When something brings up the exact same feelings that I felt when my life was in danger I find myself running for the hills. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t go fleeing from every uncomfortable situation, there have been plenty of awkward dates and meetings for the nonprofit where I have been completely out of my element, but the situations that bring up feelings of my life being in danger cause me to go running like my feet are on fire, even if there is actually no danger present in the current situation. The shadow’s of my past creep up behind me in hazy forms that I can’t make out, but spark a terror in me that that causes me to run for my life.
I get that this is a problem. I understand that this is very common in post traumatic stress disorder, which is most likely what I’m dealing with to some degree. Remember the story I told you about how I was fooling around with a guy and he said something that caused me to literally leave reality for a few minutes? Or the story I told you about how I nearly ran from the courthouse on the day of my hearing for the order of protection against my ex, and the only reason that I didn’t actually leave was because my attorney was sitting in the hallway and would have seen me?
I need to fix this.
So…..I’m going to go see my mother.
Yep, you read that right. I am going to go see my mother. 15 months after I disowned my family, I’m done running from them.
Why now? Well because she caught wind of the nonprofit I started and has been sending me some pretty colorful emails telling me that if I go public with this I will regret bringing shame to our family. You see, the thing about my parents is that they don’t make threats. They make promises.
I’m done running. I’m done hiding from my past and I’m done running from them. Its time for me to stand up for myself. Sure, I did that when I cut them out of my life over a year ago, but it was a silent exit. I just made myself unavailable to them and cut off contact. I needed that time to find myself, to heal without the influences that are them, the influences which always lead me down the path of destruction. These 15 months have done wonders for my soul and honestly, if it weren’t for this nonprofit, I would just never speak to them again, but that doesn’t seem like a feasible option anymore. They are going to come after me one way or another when I take this nonprofit public and the only real control I have in the situation is how I am going to deal with it. I need to open this wound now so that I know exactly what I will be dealing with before I go public. I need to see what I will be up against so that I can get ahead of the situation and am not blindsided down the road.
I’m done running. I’ve spent my entire life proving to myself that I have what it takes to survive against the world, but I still pick up and run for my life in situations that remind me of past dangers. I need to get to a point where my brain can understand that its ok now, that I’m ok now. I made it out and I’m strong enough to stand up for myself now. I’m strong enough to fight.
I’m choosing fight over flight.
Here I am, thirty years old, desperately trying to pull together a life from the salvaged ruins of my smoldering past, and my parents, the one’s who gave me life, are still trying to light the fire under my feet. It saddens me to the core that while most people out there have parents that delight in their accomplishments, mine want nothing more than to see me fail. That they smile when I cry. That my pain, brings them joy. It sickens me because when I look at my children, nothing makes me happier in the world than to see them smile, but when my parents look at me, they only smile when I cry.
Between you guys and me, I’m completely terrified. I don’t have a clue how this is going to go, I just know that its not going to go like it has in the past. In the past I would leave every interaction with my parents feeling broken to the core and thankful that I was still allowed to be a part of their family, despite how ashamed they all were of me. I left hoping and praying that I could change and become someone that was worthy of the air that I breathed.
All my life I’ve been running from the monsters that are my parents. All my life I’ve just picked up and left with no regard to what I was leaving behind, because whatever I was running towards, even when it was nothing at all, was still better than what I was running from.
I don’t want to run from my life anymore. I’ve been working so hard to build myself a new life that I want to make sure that I’m not going to just pick up and run away again, leaving it all behind.
I need to stop running, I need to deal with the situation head on. As many things as I’ve dealt with this past year, as much as I’ve overcome, there’s been a few untouched subjects where I have yet to choose fight over flight.
I’m going to see my mother and tell her to leave me alone forever. I’m not going to reconcile, not to allow her back into my life, but to fight. To fight for my life. To prove to her, the only thing that I may ever be able to prove to her, that I’m going to fight for what is mine, and that I’m done letting her destroy me. That for the first time in my life I’m choosing to fight her and I’m not backing down.
I need to prove to myself that I can fight. That I am capable of standing my ground and fighting for my life.
Either one of two things is going to happen, they will finally see that I’m not letting them destroy my life anymore, or I may be the town’s first honor killing. I’m a little bit joking and a little bit not.
All I want to do right now is to run, but I won’t. It’s time to stand my ground and defend what’s mine.
Your being, the entity that is you, the integrity that you behold, is a culmination of the things that you stand for and the life you fight for.
I know the life that I want and I’m going to fight for it.
I’m going to see my mother.
Have you thought about trying therapy or counseling? It would probably help you a lot, especially when trying to reestablish contact with your family. I don't mean this in a “you're broken and need to be fixed way,” hell, I'm in therapy myself. I just think that from reading your blog posts, you have a lot of trauma in your past and a professional listener and understander (pretty much what therapists are) would help you feel better and stronger. I know a lot of clinics operate on a sliding scale and will even offer free services to those who need them, so that might be an option for you.
Oh yes, for sure. I saw a counselor for a long time. I don’t think anyone is really ever ready to leave therapy lol, in fact I think most of us could benefit from it in one way or another, but I had gotten to the point where I was making steady progress on my own. The thing that I have going for me is that I’m fairly introspective, and so right now at least, I am making continual progress in my recovery so I am not currently seeing anyone. I touch base with her when I need to 🙂 In no way do I want to reestablish contact with my mother, I basically want to meet with her once and tell her to get lost forever. I guess seeing how it goes will determine if I give the counselor a call or not!
Is there any way you could get her to meet you in some “neutral” territory? I am concerned that if you meet with her in a place you associate with her being in control of you, you're going to have to fight your own subconscious impulses to see her in that light again. You're going to have enough of a fight already as it is, without having ti fight yourself at the same time.Maybe a public park, or something, where you could speak relatively in private but where there would still be people in the vicinity to reduce the chances of her screaming at you? She's the one worried about her reputation, so don't be afraid to use that to your advantage.
Oh gosh, I absolutely would meet in a public place! I have a few too many memories of my mother instructing my 13 inch taller than me brothers to “grab her arms! Get her in the room and lock the door” to set foot back in that house alone lol.
You go, Eden! You are a tempest of ancient power. You have done the absolute best you ever could have in your situation. Especially given everything your parents never gave you to your kids. I know you can do this. We all support you so much.
You’re still here! I was actually reading through old comments a couple days ago and was wondering where you went lol.
Thanks for your encouragment!!
I would agree with the suggestion you meet her on neutral ground, a park or cafe somewhere, if it's somewhere of your choosing that already gives you a bit more power over the situation. She wants to see you, so she should have to see you on your terms.Confronting a mother can be really hard, they've had power over you since infancy and can get under your skin like no one else. You'll probably find that regardless of all the evidence she will never accept any culpability for anything she did wrong. But at the same time, what else can this woman actually do to you? As it is you've already got enough on her for a protective order. You are storing all these threatening emails right?
I would absolutely be meeting her in a public place. It makes me sick thinking of going to her house and she is not welcome in mine!
She will never accept responsibility because she doesn’t believe she did anything wrong :/ Yep, keeping track of everything. I don’t think I’d have enough for an OOP quite yet, but its something to keep in mind.
“A tempest of ancient power”. I love that. And it's so true. 🙂 Get it over and done with, I'm sure afterwards you'll feel good about yourself (at least at some point), because you managed to draw a line under this. This can be so empowering!! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and I'm cheering you on!!
Thank you 🙂 I think it will feel good to have finally said to her face “stay the hell away from me and my kids.” Will she listen…who knows. Its worth a try though!
Yay for cheering!!
Personally I wouldn't confront them, going to them makes them believe they have some sort of power over you still and can get ugly. When I was dealing with my ex and my first instinct was to fight her threats and bicker back and forth , I talked to my lawyer and she recommended me to simply sent her an email back stating to not contact me again directly and that all communication should go thru my attorney that any further contact would constitute harassment and she would be taken to court. She stopped.Do you know why she stopped cause at the end bullies are nothing but cowards, so I would personally avoid the confrontation and just email her to stop or ask your attorney to send her one of those cease and desist letters that all her communications will be recorded and dealt with them in a court of law. Show her she has no control of you and you arent scared and if she keeps it up you will make a show of it and even give a speech about your current events in your non-profit , I bet the whole town goes with pitchforks and torches to her house :DGood luck in whatever you decide to do.
Yea, I’m not one to engage usually because any kind of contact opens the doors to communication. That’s why I wasn’t even sending the letters back that she was mailing me, I was just throwing them away. but now I kind of feel like she needs to see that I’m not a broken puppy anymore. I do think she is cowardly and I don’t think she really understands how much I’ve changed. I think that before I go public with the NFP she needs to see who she is messing with now and that she needs to back off lol.
Will it work…guess I’ll find out!
I understand your need to see her and get it over with but I would recommend taking someone with you or, at least, meeting in a neutral place as suggested before. Also be very wary of what she may do. Hidden recordings can be edited to make it sound as if you said what you did not. Always remember “Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't after you!”! (have always loved that quote!)
I always thought it was illegal to make voice recordings of people?
That quote is hysterical!!! Yes, neutral ground is a must 🙂
Good for you, Eden! Sounds like the right choice for you. I would only say this-Remember that you're not in this alone anymore! You have tons of people who support you. PLEASE take someone with you when you do this thing. Even if they only wait in the car while you do it, you will need their caring and support when you are finished. Boxers, cops, soldiers, none of them go into a fight alone! They bring support along for good reason. Having had a similar confrontation with my ex husband, I was desperately grateful to have someone there afterwards so that I could let go of the intense “fight” feelings and feel safe. *hugs*
Its strange, but as much as I’ve *started* opening up about my ex to people, I don’t really ever talk about my family with anyone, so I was thinking “Oh, I should take someone with. Oh wait. Who. No one knows how truly crazy my mother is.” Hum…something to think about. I think maybe if I just meet her at a coffee shop that should be fine, right? What’s she going to do, throw a table at me in starbucks? Hum….. I dunno girly…
I agree with everyone… take somebody with you, definitely. Meet on neutral ground, be careful what you say (in case she IS recording it, you never know) and BRING a cease-and-desist letter WITH you from the lawyer, and hand it to her as you leave. !!! Because YOU may think this is “the last time” dealing with her but I guarantee you she does not! (Whatever you may TELL her…) In fact, you've encouraged her greatly just by agreeing to see her. So no matter what you SAY to her, your action meeting her will send the only message she's going to take with her (since we already know she tunes you out and never pays the least attention to anything you say, so you'ill only be saying things for your own benefit and the satisfaction of saying them, as they will not make any impression whatsoever on her.) But a letter from your attorney might (especially if it mentions future actions which will be taken if she makes any further threats or has any additional contact.) Otherwise, once you've met, in her mind she's gotten what she wanted, and (she thinks) the whole situation will start all over again (no matter what you explain to her or say at her. You could say anything, really, that you were a flesh-eating alien from Planet X… or say SHE is, it's probably true, haha!… and she will not even hear it. You'll just be talking at her and not to her. Your words will never have any meaning or relevance for her, that's just the way it is.) Only communications from others, such as a lawyer, or the police, will ever penetrate the nonrational brain, believe me. So this meeting is just for you, to hear yourself speak, and try to hold onto your self control, and prove to yourself you can stand up against her (this meeting is worth it again WHY? So you can reinforce your own strength and your own resolve? So you can tell yourself you did it? So you can show yourself you have overcome your hangups?) Because that's basically all that you may possibly get from this “confrontation”, they never actually accomplish anything when dealing with a deranged or mentally ill person, which clearly she is, they only work with other normally functioning individuals. (I.e,, you can break up with a regular guy but not with a stalker. You can confront your boss but not a knife wielding wacko in an alley. etc., etc.) Trouble is, if they were normally functioning you wouldn't have the problem in the first place. (But since they're not, you might as well be uttering wha wha wha like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons. Any words at all only become the idea, “I am speaking to you at all, thus giving you credibility and reinforcing your pathology.”) So this face-to-face situation is going to be an effort in futility, unfortunately. (A dangerous unnecessary one at that.) Unless you do “serve” her with that letter… so you really should have one drawn up and bring it, definitely. Though again, it would actually be more effective and more practical to have it delivered or sent and just take yourself out of this nightmare loop entirely. If only you could admit that. That it IS her, ALL her, and NOT you (but just by your still “needing” to face her down and all, it shows some part of you still really doesn't accept or believe that. And to admit that there is NOTHING you could EVER do to change any aspect of the entire situation. And because of that inability you're still going to 'try” again, and so she's already “got” you still, in that respect, if you could just see it.) Well, good luck whatever you decide, but you ought to accept (believe!) that the best way to confront her once and for all is in writing, legally, through your attorney, period. And if you need a confrontation (for your own health/growth/sense of closure) just go in your dining room and look yourself in the eye and say I AM OVER THEM AND I DON'T NEED TO SPIN MY WHEELS REINGAGING WITH THEM IN THE SLIGHTEST WAY EVER!
Wow thats a lot to take in lol! I’m not against serving her with paperwork, by any means, but it costs me money that I don’t have right now. Mr. Attorney Man has been awesome in reducing my fees and writing stuff off, but he does have a boss that expects him to not work for free and obviously he has his own bills too pay. Unfortunately its not really in my budget right now. 🙁
You are right, no amount of conversation is going to make a difference, you can’t be rational with the irrational. With that being said, I look at her like a playground bully. She has stomped all over everyone for years and no one has stood up to her. So Im finally going to stand up to her and either one of two things will happen. She will explode and then I will find a way to scrape together the money to handle it legally, or she will be shocked as hell and not know what to do with the fact that she was just figuratively kicked in the face, and crawl back home.
Obviously I’m hoping the second option happens, but if not, then I’m not a whole lot worse off than I am now and then I go the legal route.
Wish me luck!
I agree with the other commenters that you should bring someone with you, meet on neutral ground, and bring a recorder with you. This worries me but I think you know what is best for you. I hope you can get everything you need from this meeting.
Is it legal to record other people? I thought like half the states it was and half it wasn’t. Last thing I want to do is get myself in trouble!
Thank you 🙂
I am estranged from my mother, sister and grandmother. Before I ceased communitcation with all of them completely, I only communitcated with them via email. I found that I could say what needed to be said in an unemotional manner and clearly get my point across that way. And by saving all the emails I sent and received I would always have a clear record of exactly what was said. Documentation is key and you want to make sure you have lots of it.With that being said, I totally understand the need to show your mother that she can't control you any longer. But you already know that inside yourself. So who really gives a shit if she knows it too. You don't have anything to prove to her.Just sayin'.
You're so incredibly brave and strong, and one hell of a fighter. Good luck, big sis. I'm rooting for you <3
I agree with everyone else. Find a neutral space like a park or coffee shop or something. A place where you can have a bit of privacy, but not too much privacy, if you know what I mean.Also, I like Jennifer's suggestion of contact through email. Not only does that prevent the potential fear/danger/stress of a face-to-face confrontation, but it makes it a heck of a lot easier to back up what everyone has said.Be careful. Stay strong. And take care of yourself. <3
Is DR OGBARI you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship,I promise you.your problems will be solve immediately.After being in relationship with mike for seven years, He left me, i did every thing possible to bring him back back but all was in vain. I wanted him back because of the love I have for him, I begged him but he refused until I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather mail a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believe in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days,that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day,that was around 4:00pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for every thing that happened,that he wanted to return to me, that he love me so much. I was so happy and surprised. Since then I have made a promise that every body I know will never have a relationship problem, that I will refer them to the spell caster to help them. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, hisemail firstname.lastname@example.org
You've posted here before, haven't you?I'm willing to bet a pretty large amount of money (and I'm broke, so that's saying something) and assume that the last thing Eden wants is to bring her mother and her ex back into her life.
Is there a spell that guarantees that they wont ever return? I would be willing to pay for that one.
Go to a coffee shop type place to meet her, be sure and order water, and if she totally goes off on you then toss your icy water glass contents in her face (“THIS will cool you off!”) and while she's gasping with the shock, you can LEAVE!Just sayin'….
Hahaha! Oh my gosh, she would die right then and there and with my luck I’d be charged with murder. Too funny though!
Your Honor, I'm sorry, I was armed with a huge caliber glass of water… I even had the waitress top it off. But I didn't bring a supersoaker with me though to the meeting, so clearly it wasn't first degree! 😛
HAHAHAHA. Oh my gosh that is so funny!!!
The part about giving her a letter when you meet her… you don't have to pay for a real cease and desist letter just to have your lawyer draft something official looking on letterhead, I wouldn't think. ?? Just write up something polite and vague like, my client requests you not contact her again in any form, there is no interest in maintaining contact, etc., etc. (Or do it yourself and bring it along.) Hand it to her as you go… they say a pic is worth a thousand words… well, written words have some weight to them that spoken (or even yelled) ones don't. Especially all structured and formal (not just some e-mail blurb but real paper in the hand with straight margins and all that.) Something to think about anyway!
Just be careful with your heart. And I wouldn't really say that I was able to handle my family via email. Mostly I just refused to communicate any longer and that was that. It takes 2 to participate in the drama and I just refused to participate anymore.I was able to get what I needed to say out there without being interrupted or having my feelings discredited. I didn't need any reaponse from them so as soon as I hit send, all forms of communication were blocked (phones, texting and email) and all mail was promptly returned.I guess what I am trying to say is it is a whole lot easier to tell someone to shut the hell up when you can't hear what they are saying in the first place (cuz they aren't going to say anything you haven't already heard a million times before) or they aren't given the ability to respond (again you already know what the reaponse will be anyway so why do you need to even go there). But everyone is a bit different. Maybe you need to see the whites of her eyes go red when you tell her to take a hike. I totally get that too.
Please excuse the typos. I did all that on the little bitty keyboard on my phone. And know that everything I have said comes from a place of love and experience. I am not trying to be critical in any way. Good luck! 🙂
I would go with you 🙂 Then you can come with me and do the same with my dad…not that I play fairsies or anything, but it would be nice to have good company when I do 🙂
Maybe I missed it, but when are you going? Or did you go already…so we can look for your body…not that we would know who to look for ;)I would wish you good luck, but as Brave as you are, no luck is necessary.My dad's the same…your mom, and your family, they're a bunch of cowards. I know you said they make promises, not threats, but I tend to disagree. Cowards like that don't know how else to protect themselves, so they just do stuff like that. It's no longer a promise anymore…it is just a threat, and a reflection of their weakness. My goodness, so many things I want to say about people like that. She will be dumbfounded when you are strong with her.I am so happy you're doing this. Looking forward to hearing how it went.
Haha! That is morbidly funny. And creepy. 😉
In my case it went a lot farther then threats 16 months ago, so I’m nervous to see where it goes, but I have to do something! I posted an update today in a new post. 😉
I am a MASTER of mom confrontation- I'm in! I'll treat to stress relief milkshakes after, too 🙂 Anon, join us- milkshakes for all!
HIPPO, This sounds like blackmail, have you saved the emails and shown them to your lawyer? Also what will seeing your mother achieve? What are you hoping will happen?
Hippo? Who’s hippo lol?
I posted a response similar above, but to reiterate, I’ve been dealing with my families threats for well over a year now and some of them have gone farther then just threats. For the most part I don’t really care, but if I am going to take this nonprofit public, I need to make sure they understand that I will not tolerate this behaivor from them anymore. I want to show them that I am actually making the effort to show up and tell them to their faces that this is stopping and it is stopping now. Its like someone who pulls a dogs tail for years and years and then the day the dog snaps back they stop.
Wish me luck!
Well I really hope it all works out. Dealing with boneheaded people is a mess and they don't tend to go away easily. But I truely hope for the best for you. And I have faith that one way or another it will all work out. Wish I could give you a great big hug and babysit for you while you go kick some verbal ass!
Happily Ignoring Previous Posters Opinions I wish you luck, but I also think you should make your lawyer aware of what's going on with your family of origin. If they are threatening you and you have proof, why not bring the full clout of the law down on them? I appreciate that you want to do this for yourself, but I think you're stepping back into the dance by going to talk to them face to face. What are you going to do if they counter back that they want you to come to Mother's Day brunch with your kids in tow?
Oh I get bully type invitation from them all the time and I don’t give in. I actually just got one sunday, my father informed me he had rented a playland center for the kids birthday party. Wee gee “dad,” thats great, thanks, I hope you have fun at the party, don’t forget to have some cardboard cut-outs of the kids made, seeing as how they won’t be there….
It really comes down to me not having the money to go after them legally at this time. As I’ve said before, Mr. Attorney Man does have a boos and while he was nice enough to help me pro bono before, he can’t keep doing it, and I quite frankly can’t afford to pay him for it. So I’m gonna show my face, see if it scares them into backing down, and if it does, great. If not, well I’m almost no worse off and I’ll just have even more backing me when I file charges.
Just make sure you're doing this for you and not because you think it will change anything with them. I've had fantasies about confronting my parents and them deciding to actually make changes in their lives, but they aren't capable of seeing the harm they've done. At some point though, I do intend to let them know they are officially out of my life, but only because it's something I think I need to do, not because I think it will make a difference.Good luck.