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#459819 - 01/31/14 08:29 AM Undoing the layers of judgment
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 345
Loc: NY
About twenty years ago, I began to feel there was something wrong between me and my Mom. There was an unresolved tension in our adult relationship.

We went to see a therapist together. The therapist invited us not to judge each other, but to try to speak a little more openly. Where we got to was that there was something uncomfortable between us. I said that it was going to be difficult for me to be alone with my Mom.

From that point onward, I pretty much followed the rule of not being alone with her for the next ten years. When the real emotional stuff started to come out, I thought, “Great. Now we are going to be okay.” Unfortunately, that was not the case. There was still more work to be done.

In a book by John Bradshaw on families this dynamic seems to be described in the following passage:

In a family governed by the rules of poisonous pedagogy, critical judgment is not only okay, it is a duty and a requirement. Even the most mature parents will not be able to avoid the “I’m uncomfortable, therefore you are stupid, weird, crazy” distortion. Consequently, much emotional energy that belongs to the parent will be communicated as if it belonged to the child.

For the past few years, this is the burden I have carried. Each time that I think of the uncomfortable dynamic, there has been the voice countering it, creating a distortion and making me the ‘stupid, weird and crazy’ one. As I let go of the distortion, an enormous emptiness looms for a moment. I fear being swallowed into a void. I can’t hear myself and it seems like I become temporarily blind.

I recall how for many years, I searched for things that would make the distortion clearer. Mirrors that I could look into to give me a true picture of reality. There is not much left now. The only place to look is within.

--FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#459849 - 01/31/14 02:35 PM Re: Undoing the layers of judgment [Re: focusedbody]
gaatt Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 123
Hi Focussed,

Oh boy, does this ever resonate with me! My mother has labelled me "crazy" several times, one of them quite recently. It can put me into a very difficult mental/emotional/energetic space. It feels threatening to me.

A big part of my recent healing process is to recognize that her ability to love is limited. She appears very much a saint in most settings, making this recognition (and the depth of the trauma) a difficult one for me. My body doesn't lie though and it goes through hell. So I've had to recognize the good stuff in her (She is helpful financially and with chores that I can't currently do), and protect myself from the hurtful stuff (labelling me "crazy" is one of them).

Taking on the job of loving my body and myself (looking within) and finding people who will be supportive of that process has been demanding (and frustrating at times) but ultimately much more rewarding than hoping I'll get it from her (this need in me is what exposes me to her hurtfulness).

One thing I found was that my confidence in my ability to love myself (and the inner child I once was) was low. It was more than I could handle. This seemed to relax once I accepted the support of what my massage therapist calls my "Inner Healer". I don't have to do it all by myself. :-)

Thanks for your post, Focussed. This is such a challenge for me too!

Sincerely,

"GAATT"
_________________________
"Love yourself and watch...Today, Tomorrow, Always." Buddha.

My Story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468661#Post468661

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#461134 - 02/19/14 10:10 PM Re: Undoing the layers of judgment [Re: gaatt]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 345
Loc: NY
Gaatt:

Thanks for your reply and support. In particular, I've been thinking about my need for my own Inner Healer. I think for so long I didn't really trust I could have one. Being on this website has reminded me that I have a right to have one, which I think is the first step.

Recently my Mom and I were talking and she recognized that we had talked about a lot of things (sexual) over the past few years. This was good to hear and I am still letting it in.

She was stating that we had gone beyond the initial interchange with the therapist that I described above. During all the time I was trying to do this with her, I was never really sure on some level whether I was just dealing with someone who was paying me lip service or someone who was really listening. Now I'm beginning to believe the latter.

There are still challenges ahead. I have to be somewhat vigilant of not assuming that I'm the "crazy one". I have to be willing to live in the truth of what is happening. Sometimes this triggers pre-verbal memories, but that is not something I want to run from.

At present, I'm working with the vocabulary with her that we "got too close" at some point in my childhood. It's a working hypothesis that she seems to be willing to accept. It means that we can't shut down the associated feelings at this point. Otherwise it's back into the confusing abyss.

Glad to hear from you. Hope you are finding new roads to recovery.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#461345 - 02/23/14 02:48 PM Re: Undoing the layers of judgment [Re: focusedbody]
gaatt Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 123
Thanks Focussed,

Great to hear from you too. I'm impressed that you are able to meet with your mother in a therapeutic setting. Setting limits on my mother's insistence that I'm the "sick" and/or "crazy" one is about as far as I've got with her. She seems to have a very strong resistance to openly seeing herself as part of the problem. Perhaps it is too disturbing to her since my physical health has been so deeply and severely challenged. She is helpful in other ways though, and I'm grateful for them. Perhaps she just does things in a more covert way. Open communication was never a strong point in my birth family particularly around emotions or sexuality.

Much of my process of recovery is focused on healing my body these days. It definitely needs it and I seem to be making progress. Thanks for your thoughts and support.

Best wishes for your healing process.

Sincerely,

"GAATT"
_________________________
"Love yourself and watch...Today, Tomorrow, Always." Buddha.

My Story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=468661#Post468661

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