Posts Tagged ‘unwanted contact from abuser’

After I wrote yesterday’s blog entry, I felt better just getting the anger out. I noticed that my shoulders were incredibly tense (go figure!) and did some yoga. I had planned to pray and then do meditation, but I did not get that far. Instead, I started to cry … and cried and cried while I rocked myself like a child. That moved into a trauma-induced shaking fit that lasted for five or six minutes.

From there, I yelled at G*d for a while, expressing my deep anger at the unfairness of it all – my childhood, my bondage to my mother/abuser and her ability to trigger me like this, G*d’s supposed love for her that is supposed to equal His love for me (based on what I hear at church), etc. I just let it all pour out.

After that ended, I stayed curled up on my side on my yoga mat and continued to cry. As I did, I thought about how tired I am of being other people’s “collateral damage.” My father didn’t want to break up his marriage or have it go public that his wife sexually abused his daughter, so I was the collateral damage in his choice to do nothing. My sister didn’t want to prevent our mother from coming to her college graduation, so I was the collateral damage – having to deal with several weeks of triggering (before, during, and after the graduation) to be a part of my sister’s celebration.

Other people seem to view me as “strong enough,” “nice enough,” or “accommodating enough” to s@#$ all over me as collateral damage because they don’t want to do the right thing. It’s easier to throw me under the bus than it is to take a stand for what is right.

I would never in a million years ask my child to suck it up and interact with someone who traumatized him. I would act as a shield on his behalf, and I would never put him in the position of having to miss out on something positive (like being part of a loved one’s big day) because I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of a child abuser.

I don’t understand this pattern of throwing me under the bus to keep the peace, and I am finished with it to the extent I have the power. I am finished with trying to be the bigger person, trying to see my mother/abuser’s point of view, trying to be kind to her, trying to “honor” her (as prescribed by my faith), and basically finished with s@#$ing all over myself just because she is unhappy with this arrangement. If she had not raped me, and if she had not driven me to numerous other people to be repeatedly raped, then she wouldn’t be in this position today. I am not the person who created this situation – she is. I am sick to death of trying to force myself to be OK with my abuser contacting me when I am not. I’m done.

From now on, I am taking my friend’s advice. Any contact to me will be burned and thrown away without entering my house. Any letter to my child can be opened to look for money or a check and then must be thrown away outside of the house. I would send her another “Back the f@#$ off” message, but that clearly doesn’t work with her – it will only encourage her to contact me more because she is getting a response. I will not give her any further response. I have had enough.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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As I write this, I am on DAY 6 of feeling triggered thanks to my b@#$% mother/abuser’s unwanted contact by letter TWICE last week. FOR SIX DAYS, I have had a major headache, have felt anxious and out of control, and have been really irritable. Then, I feel so exhausted that I long for sleep, only to suffer from nightmares, including rapes and such. My heart is constantly racing. I am popping Xanax like M&M’s. I cannot focus on the work that I need to be doing in preparation for starting teaching NEXT WEEK. It’s all because of my stupid, f@#$king, self-centered b@#$% of a “mother” who is apparently incapable of following very basic instructions like, “Get the f@#$ out of my life!!!” Apparently even wording that forceful is too subtle for the idiot.

I hate it! And I hate her! I hate that after spending numerous hours and thousands of dollars on therapy, she still has this power over me. I have written tens of thousands of words on healing from child abuse. I have read thousands of pages on how to heal. And then, this stupid cow of a woman who devastated my entire childhood continues to have the power with one (or two) stupid cards to blow up my world again. It’s not fair! Where is the justice in that?

The fact that this idiot could procreate (something that, ironically, has been denied to me – oh, the ironies of life) does not entitle her to torture me for the rest of my life. I have moved hundreds of miles away. I have told her to go away many, many, many times. I have been very clear that I do not want to hear from her. My sister has been very clear to her that I don’t want to hear from her. And yet, none of that matters. How I feel – how she rips me to shreds inside by the simple act of sending a letter – is irrelevant to her. It doesn’t matter. I don’t matter. I am not even a person to her. I am extension of herself the she can use to “get off,” “buy” friends, and torture in any way she sees fit.

I have tried to view her as pathetic and weak, but she is just plain evil. She is an evil b@#$% who is apparently never going to leave me the hell alone until she is dead. To quote my husband, she will probably outlive us all, dying the day after I do.

I don’t know how to pull out of this intense triggering. Nothing is working – not exercise, yoga, talking about it, not talking about it, sleeping, waking, praying, or crying. I am hoping that writing about it will be cathartic.

Sorry not to be an inspiration today. I just want the b@#$% to drop dead and leave me the hell alone. Please … tell me … is there any part of what I just said that is unclear? I do know how to write, so the problem cannot possibly be my inability to express myself. Perhaps I should send this blog entry to her. Think that would penetrate her thick skull??

Remember when I sent her the message saying “Back the f@#$ off?” (Trust me – I did not filter that message.) I wrote about it here. That was in 2009. And still she continues to contact me. WTF??????

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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Continued from here.

On Saturday, I spent the day hanging out with a friend, which was great. She advised me (again) not to read any letters or cards from my mother/abuser. In fact, she said I should not even take the letters into my car or house because I don’t need to take the negative energy there with me. Her advice was to burn the letter in an outdoor trashcan and not to read anything else she sends.

I was “off” on Saturday night and took a sleeping pill to make sure I would actually sleep. It worked, but it was a restless sleep. I was very tense on Easter Sunday morning with a bad headache. I felt like I was walking in my sleep – not really present and no energy.

I took a nap (something I rarely do), hoping for a restful and dreamless sleep, which is how naps usually are for me. In fact, when I go through a period of intense nightmares, I try to build nap time into my schedule so my body can rest while I nap since it is not resting at night when I sleep. I fell into such a deep sleep that I kept “waking up into another dream.” I was raped again in the dream. A disembodied hand was after me. It was simply awful. I was so shaken that I had to take more Xanax to get through the afternoon.

I keep telling myself that I just need to get through the evening. Tomorrow, hub will go back to work and my son will go back to school. (Last week was Spring Break, so I have had precious little “alone time.”) I can go to the gym in the morning and work off some of this adrenaline. I can also read my book as I work out, and I can sit back and watch a favorite TV show during lunch. I am in desperate need of “me time.” I still have a ton of work to do for my job, but I have got to nurture myself tomorrow, or I am going to lose my mind!

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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I am writing this blog entry on Easter Sunday, so hopefully this awful weekend will be a distant memory by the time you read this. Three days before Easter, my mother/abuser sent me a card. For those of you who have been following my saga, you will remember that she sent me a card in February telling me that **she** was letting **me** go. You can read about that here. I had a feeling it wouldn’t last, and it hasn’t.

My sister had given me a heads up that my mother planned to send my son something for Easter. Whatever. I have been too insanely busy with my new job to deal with mother drama. So, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to get the card. It basically said that she loves me too much to let me go … can’t do it … blah, blah, blah. She said she would respect my wish for her not to contact me, but she wanted to send holiday, birthday, and Christmas cards/presents to my family. I set the card aside and didn’t really process it.

The next day (Earth Day), I saw the African Cats movie that stressed the protection and sacrifice that “all” mothers provide for their children as shown by these wildcats. This apparently triggered me, but I didn’t realize it.

After the movie, I went back to my friend’s house for a while, and I out of the blue told her about my mother’s card from the day before. I also mentioned how much I hate Easter because all of my friends “go away,” etc. (I also experienced a severe trauma on Easter Sunday when I was two years old that affects me to varying degrees from year to year.) I noticed that I was feeling and acting “off” – talking fast and louder than normal, feeling detached and lightheaded, etc. I didn’t know why.

Then, I found another card from my mother in the mailbox when I got home — this time to my son. It was just an Easter card with no money or present in it. She signed the card, “Love, Nana” with little hearts drawn on it, and that really did bother me. I got more and more triggered but didn’t really realize it until it was really bad. I emailed my friend and said that I was very triggered but didn’t know why. I took a Xanax, but even that didn’t calm me down much.

My friend is the one who connected the dots – that my reaction had to do with this unwanted and unexpected contact from my mother over a holiday weekend that is triggering for me anyhow. As soon as she said this, I started crying and just wanted to rock myself. I wound up binge eating (I’ll write about that) and having a bad headache on Saturday.

This is getting too long. More tomorrow…

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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As I shared yesterday, I recently recovered another flashback. That happened on Wednesday morning last week. I spent that day shaky and on Xanax to get through the day. I did better on Thursday, taking about half the dose of Xanax and starting to pull out of the triggering. I used my many tools to reassure myself that I am now safe. The “what” wasn’t any sort of surprise at this point in my healing. The issue was the “who” combined with another memory of being hurt when I thought I was finally safe.

So, sure enough, guess what arrived in the mail on Friday afternoon (two days later)? Of course, it was a package from my mother/abuser – mailed the very day I had the flashback and arriving on the day that I was finally Xanax-free and feeling much better after the flashback. It put it another away, the unwanted contact from my mother/abuser arrived right when I was feeling safe again.

Just seeing the package with her handwriting triggered me much worse than recovering the flashback did. I checked the mail on my way to pick up my kid from summer camp, and I almost couldn’t drive because I was so upset. I called a friend to calm me down, and she didn’t answer. I then called my sister, who also did not answer, and went off on her voice mail about what the f@#$ this woman wants me with. (For those who don’t know my story, I have cut contact with my mother, but my sister still maintains a dysfunctional relationship with her.)

Next, I called another friend who knows my story and whose kid was in summer camp with mine. I told her I had a package from my mother, I was upset, and that I needed her to take it. I was shaking so badly during the four-mile drive that I had to pull over at a gas station to buy some water to swallow a Xanax.

My friend was waiting at summer camp. The first thing she did was break the package three times. (It had the words “fragile” marked all over it. My sister told me that my mother was planning on hand-delivering a DVD of herself performing music in a group, which is what I am guessing was in the package.) I asked my friend to make sure there is nothing I need to know, such as that she is planning another trip to my city. My friend texted me later that there was nothing I needed to know in the package, and she presumably threw it out for me.

I developed a migraine and went to bed at 5:30 p.m. I watched TV until 8:00 and then fell asleep for ~ 10 hours. I am now up bright and early blogging and hoping that will help me get through this. I did lots of work last night to help calm me down and reassure the terrorized little girl inside that I really am safe. The package coming on the heels of the flashback of never being safe is not helping.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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I have thought about the comments that readers have posted about my draft letter to my mother/abuser as well as comments made by my sister and one of my close friends. I have reached the conclusion that I needed to write that letter more than I needed m/a to read it. I needed to know that I had the courage to say what needs to be said, even if m/a will never be in the place to “hear” what I have said.

Unfortunately, m/a is not sane, so she is never going to be able to “receive” any message I send like a sane person would. No matter what I tell her, she is going to hear what she wants to hear. If she was willing and/or capable of respecting boundaries, she would have done so long ago, and there would be no need for me to write her yet another letter explaining the boundaries.

So, what do I do now? At the moment, I do nothing. Silence won’t be misconstrued, although if there is a way to do it, I am sure she will find it. I have a busy enough life that I don’t need to be wasting time trying to construct the “perfect” letter that an insane person will read in the way that it should be read. My sister has relayed the message that I will be out of town on Mother’s Day weekend (when m/a will be in a nearby city visiting with relatives), so there is no urgency on my end to write to her.

Thank you for helping me work this out. I am proud of myself for writing the draft letter, and I am reassured that I am not too weak to confront her. This breakdown of communication is not because I am not strong enough to say what needs to be said. The problem is on her end – an inability to “hear.”

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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On my blog entry entitled Got Another Letter from my Mother/Abuser, a reader posted the following question:

How do u guys deal with the fear and powerlessness unwanted contacts evoke? ~ Sameena

I lean on my friends a lot. I have learned from experience not to take any action in the moment because I might regret it later. Instead, I let a friend know that my mother/abuser has contacted me again. I let a friend (or more than one friend) read the letter or listen to the message on the answering machine because my friends can be more objective than I can. I then listen to their advice but don’t act on it in the moment.

As I shared here, I just received another unwanted letter from my mother/abuser telling me of her plans to come to my state over Mother’s Day weekend (oh, the irony!). I did nothing that night except tell friends about it and blog about it. The next day, I bought plane tickets to visit a friend in another state with my son.

I deal with the fear by taking action. My mother/abuser might choose to come to the state, but I can choose to leave the state. This helps alleviate my fear and feelings of powerlessness because I feel empowered to protect myself. She cannot make me stay in the state and wait for her visit.

I guess I no longer feel powerless. Instead, I feel angry – like I am dealing with a stalker boyfriend who takes any tiny shred of kindness and turns it into an invitation for reconciliation. I need to tell my mother/abuser that I will not be in the state, so don’t bother, but I have done nothing yet. Hub has told me that I better get her that message because he sure doesn’t want to see her.

What p#$$es me off is that my mother/abuser is forcing me to go against my own nature to deal with her. My first choice would be to address the truth, but that is likely to cause her to have a psychotic episode, and I don’t want to be responsible for her hurting anyone in that state. My second choice would be to send her the occasional picture and letter to spare her the embarrassment of having to tell people that she is not in contact with her daughter. This is a kindness that she does not deserve but is in keeping with my own character. Clearly she cannot handle that.

So, that leaves me with one more option – telling her to go to h@#$, which goes against my character but might be the only option I have. It makes me angry that she puts me in this position. I don’t want to do that, so right now I am simply doing nothing. I know I will need to address it at some point, but I am choosing not to in this moment.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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Just to recap for newer readers – my mother sexually abused me as a child and provided access for most of my abusers, so I really don’t have any desire to keep this woman in my life. I also have a nine-year-old son who I don’t want anywhere near her. Meanwhile, my sister has chosen to continue a relationship with her and allows her to visit with her grandchildren (14 and 10).

I cut off all personal contact (only letters) with my mother/abuser in 2003 under the advice of my therapist. I set boundaries about what could be in those letters – no talking about the past, reunions, etc. Despite this, my mother/abuser repeated disregards the boundaries, apologizing for stupid things that have nothing to do with the abuse. Until she takes responsibility for the hell she put me through as a child (which will never happen), we have nothing to talk about.

Last year, I chose not to send her a birthday card, and that is when all hell broke loose. She saw that she had nothing to lose, so she started calling and threatened to visit. I sent her a note saying, “Back the f@#$ off!!,” and she left me alone until we saw each other for the first time at my sister’s college graduation in December 2009. Since then, the letters have started again because she thinks that seeing each other in December (where I was looking for places to vomit and was pumped up on Xanax) means that we now have a fresh start.

Now that you are caught up … She had another birthday recently, and I (stupidly) sent her a nondescript card with a couple of recent pictures of my son. I thought this was staving off round two, but apparently it sent her the wrong message in light of the letter I just received:

I was wondering. May 8th [Mother’s Day Weekend!!!!] I’ll be up in [a nearby city] to visit [relatives]. Is there a way that on May 9th [Mother’s Day] I could see you? Then we can sit down and talk out our differences. The maybe we can become friends once more. Or I could see you on May 8, before I get to [city] and have a short stop on my journey up there. I’ll pay for your lunch. Let me know if this will work for you?

Talk out our differences!?!! Become friends one more!?!! When were we ever friends?? It didn’t feel real friendly when my body was offered up to all of her “friends” sexually on and off camera!! These are not “differences.” We are not arguing about paint color or the best sports team. She RAPED me, and she allowed her friends to RAPE me. How do you talk that out?? “I didn’t like it when you let your friends bury me alive or lock me in a box for hours. I wasn’t crazy about the gang rapes or having my first orgasm at your hand when I was a toddler.” No, sorry, don’t see it happening.

I called my sister, and we are going to visit my grandmother [father’s mother] out of state that weekend. I haven’t been to see her in a couple of years because returning to my hometown wigged me out too much. I think seeing my grandmother once more before she dies is a much better use of my time, and maybe I won’t wig out so much knowing that my mother/abuser is in another state.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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On my blog entry entitled Got Another Letter from my Mother/Abuser, a reader posted the following comment:

I would like to offer my unsolicited view. Through this blog I’ve grown to care about you a great deal and respect you and your work. So, while I don’t know the whole story, only you know that… from the information you’ve provided, it appears that you are still in a position where you are being held responsible for your mother’s well being. It is so not fair to you.

Is it possible to have your therapist call mom/abuser’s counselor and communicate to the counselor that it would be healthier for both of you if your mom/abuser is advised to back off and that there are very good reasons. Not only for your benefit, but for your mother’s as well…? I just don’t think it’s healthy or just for you to have to carry all this on your own. Maybe the two of them could set up communications and then HER counselor could be taking on the responsibility of your mother not you. People use mediation all the time when they disagree and I think this is no different. This way you will be covered no matter what happens it is NOT your responsibility. It will fall squarely on the person who is responsible for your mom/abuser’s mental health. What do you think? ~ Mia

Mia’s suggestion is only one of many that I have received. I responded by getting really sick so I didn’t have to deal with it. :0)

At this point, I am still not sure what to do. My therapist initially said to ignore her. However, after contact #3, he left a message saying that we needed to think about what I would say to her if/when she calls again. I have not returned his message. My family is going out to town for Spring Break, and I am checking the Caller ID before answering the phone, so I guess I am just postponing dealing with this issue.

One friend suggested that I have my therapist call my mother’s counselor and say that it is detrimental to my emotional health for my mother/abuser to keep contacting me. Another friend suggested that I write her back and tell her that I have forgiven her for the things she wrote in the letter. That way, she can show her counselor that she resolved the issue and will, hopefully, then leave me alone.

A part of me wants to confront her if she calls. I have told her multiple times to back off. If she continues to push it, then she gets what is coming. Maybe I could say something like, “Until you are ready to take responsibility for all of the child abuse I suffered, we have nothing to talk about,” and then hang up. She can take that comment multiple ways. She can own up to what she did to me personally, or she can own up to one of the numerous people she allowed to hurt me.

For right now, I’ll be getting out of town, and she does not have my cell phone number, so I should at least be able to buy another week of not having to deal with her.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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I spent all last week sick and am still not doing so great. I have had a cold that I fear is moving into a sinus infection. Of course, in the middle of all of this, another letter arrived from my mother/abuser. I shared previously about her last unwanted contact here. My mother sent me a letter in mid-March and then called me. Thank goodness I was not home. Now, she sent me another letter. Considering that I have told her very firmly that I do not want to talk about reconciliation, these three attempts in a short period time are really starting to p#$$ me off. I also don’t think it is a coincidence that I have been sick since this all started.

This letter was another attempt at reconciliation. She wrote an apology for a list of things that she did wrong as a parent. None of the things she included are on my list of reasons for breaking contact with her. Yes, it sucked when she did not take me to a doctor after being kicked by a horse or after having my head slammed in a van door, but that is all water under the bridge. If she really wants to talk reconciliation, she needs to own up to sexually abusing me and providing multiple abusers access to me throughout my childhood. Those are the reasons I don’t want her in my life.

The thing is, I truly do not believe she holds those memories in her conscious mind. I believe that she has repressed them all. That being said, they do leak out from time to time, which has been validating for both my sister and me. If I was to write her back and say, “You need to take responsibility for abusing my sister and me and for allowing others to harm us,” she would likely have a psychotic episode. So, my refusal to have this conversation with her is actually a kindness, but she keeps on pushing.

I called my therapist and left him a message. He returned my call and agreed that I should keep ignoring these contacts but that we need to talk about what I will say if/when she calls again. I was too sick to deal with it and have not returned his call yet. For now, I am just checking the Caller ID before I answer the phone.

As I said, I still feel lousy, so I just don’t want to deal with this crap right now. My sister and a friend both suspect that this is all part of her “counseling” and that the counselor is the one advising her to push this issue. I wish she would just back off.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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