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Letting go of emotional baggage

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colorkitty

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
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220
I don''t know if anyone has been in this situation, but I could use any tips I can get. Is anyone carrying around hurt or anger towards anyone else? If so, how do you let it go? In my case, it''s towards my mother. I don''t really want to go into it, but she didn''t like me as a child. She resented me for having a great relationship with my father and blamed me for the break-up of the marriage (they''ve been married for 30 years; they just don''t talk anymore). She would do insane things like tell me I''m fat all the time, and then if I lost a pound, she''d try to have me committed into a hospital for anorexia. And since this is a jewelry forum: my mother knew how I hated jewelry, particularly yellow gold and my birthstone, and I remember many holidays where gold or birthstone jewelry was all I got while I watched my brother open a pile of fun presents. Then I got told she couldn''t afford a b-day present for me that year because the jewelry had cost so much.

The problem is that it affects me. Before my mother decided she hated me (I''m not exaggerating. She told me this all the time), I was a happy go-lucky child. I don''t want to be one of those people who blames everything on their parents, but I''m carrying around a ton of anger and bitterness, and I think it''s causing me to be an angry, bitter, sarcastic, pessimistic person.

I''m told I should let it all go. But how? I''ve told myself I forgive her. For the sake of her not keeping me away from the rest of my family, I''ve tried to have a friend type relationship. I''ve tried reading the Bible. I''ve tried watching Dr. Phil. What can I do? I can''t seem to let it go. I wish not seeing her anymore was an option, but she still has leverage over me because my dad and brother still live with her and she''s my link between me and her relatives (who to this day think I was a troubled teen because when I don''t do what she wants the first thing she does is pick up the phone and spread vicious lies to family and neighbors).

I''m sorry to be such a Debbie Downer. I know I''m lucky in so many ways, but I''m struggling with this.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,374
I don''t have any advice, but wanted to say that I''m sorry you had to go through so much. It is very devastating to be told by a parent that he/she is hated.
 

asscherisme

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
2,736
Hi. HUGE hugs to you. I''ve been there and done that unfortunately. I have one word for you: Therapy. It does not mean you are nuts. It does not mean there is anything wrong with you. It means you are a STRONG person taking control of your life and dealing with your baggage so you can live a happy life.

No child deserves to be unloved. No child deserves emotional abuse from a parent. Thats what you got and did not deserve. I can''t recommend therapy enough. You may need to go through a few until you find one you click with. But it can be a life changing experience.

And I can tell you that any feelings you have now towards your mother will be intensified once you have kids if you plan on having any.

Oh, and without knowing you, I can promise you 100% you are not responsible for the break up of your parents marriage. A child can''t break up a parents marriage, especially after 30 years. Its between the two married people. And to blame you is beyond wrong.
 

ellaila

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
1,643
First off, I''m so sorry to read your story -- what a shame that your mom treated you so unfairly and horribly.

I 1000% agree with asscher about therapy. I know someone who had a truly miserable childhood, and guess what? She''s a truly miserable adult, who wallows in her misery. I *know* that so much of her adult behavior comes from not feeling loved as a child, and it breaks my heart to see her abuse herself now (not physically) by not allowing herself to be happy. She never focuses on the positive things in life -- every silver living has a dark cloud. This will affect you in every aspect of your life if you don''t take control of it ASAP.

Best of luck to you ... and remember, you can''t pick your family but you CAN choose your friends, so surround yourself with positive loving people who treat you right! You deserve nothing less!
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
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24,426
colorkitty, I''m really sorry, I can relate. I am dealing with the same thing, although my mother did not go to some of the lengths yours did. Let''s just say I was a surprise she never quite got over.

I have stuggled with the same feelings, and wondered the same thing. HOW do I get over this, it''s a horrible feeling, and it does take a toll. What helped me at first, was to really look at myself and realize that while she treated me badly, I''m not a bad person. I''m far from perfect, but I am a good, decent, honest person. I have a husband and family and friends who love me. That helped.


Then I took a good look at her, I mean REALLY looked at her, and her life. What I found was a rather pathetic soul, and I actually started to feel sorry for her. That may sound shocking to say about ones parent, but unfortunately it''s the truth. Holding the title of "parent" does not automatically make one a stellar person. I realized too, that at least part of her behavior comes from her own childhood, and instead of learning from it, she just passed it down. I made the decision to stop the cycle. I tried hard to take from my experiences and learn how children (and people in general) should be treated, and not treated, how words can hurt, what not to do. That has helped.

Last, but certainly not least, I prayed, a lot. I wanted to be healed of all the anger and hurt she has caused me. And more importantly, to be able to be around her without those feelings coming to the surface. It has become increasingly important to do that, as she is 80 years old, legally blind, and I am the only one of 3 kids in town. So, I am being forced to take care of her. And THAT has been a REAL challenge. I''m like, of all people to be taking care of her, I am the least likely, but, here I am. Prayer has definitely helped.


Besides everything else I''ve listed, I keep this thought in mind. When all is said and done, I want to know I was the bigger person, that I did the right thing, that I have no regrets.


I''m not saying all this was/is easy, far from it, but, it has made it easier. Things ARE better. And, it''s a work in progress.

I hoped this helped in some small way, and you are in my thoughts.
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
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24,426
Date: 1/24/2007 9:44:45 AM
Author: asscherisme
And I can tell you that any feelings you have now towards your mother will be intensified once you have kids if you plan on having any.
This is true.
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
I''m so sorry this happened to you. My MIL was actually treated much the same way as a child. Almost to a tee. I don''t have much to offer other than saying that you really should get therapy. I think sometimes that parents can inflict the most pain on a person, and I think a therapist can really help you get through this.

*M*
 

asscherisme

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
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2,736
I totally agree with poptart. A parent is suppose to love you and be a safe place for you to fall. When that trust is broken. When they mistreat you, unless you deal with it, it can color your other relationships and how you view life.
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
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11,534
Date: 1/24/2007 9:44:45 AM
Author: asscherisme
I have one word for you: Therapy.
Abso-quackin-lutely!


When you still have so much rage toward a parent & it''s affecting your life currently (state of mind, decisions, personality) ... natural seperation hasn''t been completed. You''re probably still emeshed with her in some way even though you don''t wanna be.

Whew -- I''ll tell ya .. It is a relief to feel differently! Not all your issues/problems will dissapear, but it''s very freeing to NOT be inside that particular emotional cage-match!
 

littlelysser

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
1,862
CK - I''m so sorry you had to go through this...it just sounds awful.

I agree with everyone else that recommends therapy! There are some things that although try as you might, you just can''t make yourself get over - you know?

And there is nothing wrong with seeking the help of a professional. If nothing else, they could likely give you some coping skills for the present and future, as well as help you get past some of the resentment and anger you are justified in feeling.

And I will tell you something that a friend of mine said to me - she heard it in her alanon meeting a while back - and it really struch a chord with me...because I have struggled with resentment and anger towards some people in my life...and I really needed to try to let it go!

Anyway...here it is - Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. Just really struck me - made me realize that all the anger I was feeling wasn''t harming anyone but me. Ya know? The anger and bitterness you feel towards your mom (again, I totally understand why you feel that way) isn''t hurting her a bit - it''s only hurting you.

Don''t know if this will help at all...but it rang very true for me.
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
24,426
I also agree, if you can afford it, do therapy. That simply wasn''t an option for me.
 

Lorelei

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
42,064
Date: 1/24/2007 10:25:00 AM
Author: Ellen
colorkitty, I''m really sorry, I can relate. I am dealing with the same thing, although my mother did not go to some of the lengths yours did. Let''s just say I was a surprise she never quite got over.

I have stuggled with the same feelings, and wondered the same thing. HOW do I get over this, it''s a horrible feeling, and it does take a toll. What helped me at first, was to really look at myself and realize that while she treated me badly, I''m not a bad person. I''m far from perfect, but I am a good, decent, honest person. I have a husband and family and friends who love me. That helped.


Then I took a good look at her, I mean REALLY looked at her, and her life. What I found was a rather pathetic soul, and I actually started to feel sorry for her. That may sound shocking to say about ones parent, but unfortunately it''s the truth. Holding the title of ''parent'' does not automatically make one a stellar person. I realized too, that at least part of her behavior comes from her own childhood, and instead of learning from it, she just passed it down. I made the decision to stop the cycle. I tried hard to take from my experiences and learn how children (and people in general) should be treated, and not treated, how words can hurt, what not to do. That has helped.

Last, but certainly not least, I prayed, a lot. I wanted to be healed of all the anger and hurt she has caused me. And more importantly, to be able to be around her without those feelings coming to the surface. It has become increasingly important to do that, as she is 80 years old, legally blind, and I am the only one of 3 kids in town. So, I am being forced to take care of her. And THAT has been a REAL challenge. I''m like, of all people to be taking care of her, I am the least likely, but, here I am. Prayer has definitely helped.


Besides everything else I''ve listed, I keep this thought in mind. When all is said and done, I want to know I was the bigger person, that I did the right thing, that I have no regrets.


I''m not saying all this was/is easy, far from it, but, it has made it easier. Things ARE better. And, it''s a work in progress.

I hoped this helped in some small way, and you are in my thoughts.
Ellen, thank you so much for expressing what you went through so eloquently. Your words really hit home for me and my very similar situation. I know they will give ColorKitty some comfort too.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
My heart goes out to you. Like someone else said, a parent is supposed to love unconditionally, and so it is awful that you did not feel that sense of love and support from her.

I think therapy is great in order to help you with YOUR feelings, if you can manage it. Of course it does not change the other person...I have issues with my sister and I have removed her from my life. I still hear things about her and things that she is doing and saying about WHY I exed her out, and she is a liar and manipulator so she is lying and manipulating in regards to this (again). No surprise, just makes me crazy. People who have never experienced someone like this, especially a close relative, are generally shocked and cannot relate to being in this position. I have had people tell me to ''get over it" and "that is your sister you need to let it go"...well, I am HER sister too and that never stopped her from being awful and cruel and horrible...so why is it up to ME to always take it?

I do not have a lot of wisdom, it hurts a lot and we have to find a way to accept that this is who the person is...I just struggle myself personally with the hows and the whys of it all, but I DO NOT feel I am wrong or that it is my fault, I have accepted that this is just who she is and that helped a bit, but
not totally...so "hugs" to you and I hope you feel some peace with it...
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
congratulations! you''ve actually done the hard part and admitted there is a problem and are seeking ways to deal with your problem. if you can''t afford a good therapist there should be support groups around. ask for a reference. also, there are many books...some good some not so good....on how to deal with a difficult parent. it may be time to establish links of your own with the family rather than rely upon her as your link.

you can do nothing to change your mother. you can only change yourself. a quote i''ve carried with me for years goes ''before you try to change someone else, remember how hard it is to change yourself''. you can change your response to her. you can choose to have a relationship with family members not dependent upon her. you can see yourself as a wonderful human being. you can lead the life you want. it will be up to the family members to make their own decisions about their relationship with you. it will be up to your mother to learn new responses if she so decides. however, you do not have to subject yourself to her abuse. set up arrangements with family members away from her.

you do have options. learning what those options are, learning how to employ those options, having the confidence to employ them, being willing to take the consequences of those options are all something that theraphy, a support group, and self-help books can assist you with.

personally, i''d cease contact with her [even if it meant i didn''t see the rest of the family for any reason], write a letter with all my thoughts and feelings, hold that letter for a year, reread it, and see how i was feeling then.

movie zombie
 

Efe

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Messages
773
colorkitty, my heart goes out to you. You should be very proud that you recognize and are willing to deal with your issues. For years I had an issue with my father and I really began to heal when I stopped looking at him in the role of a father and started seeing him as a human being with serious flaws and complex issues. I was able to begin to have compassion for him. I also realized that he was doing the best that he could, it wasn''t great by any means, but it was all he was capable of considering what he had been through himself. Healing and forgiveness are powerful forces, give them time. Hugs to you.
 

colorkitty

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
220
First of all, thank you everyone for the advice and the kind words. I have resisted the idea of therapy for a long time, but I have been thinking about it lately and am becoming convinced that''s the best option for me. It would be one thing if I felt I was a naturally angry and sarcastic person, and I used to think that, but as I get older I see that there''s another way to be and to interact with others, and I have that better adjusted person inside me.

Again, thanks. It''s nice to have support, and even though none of us know each other that well, I think it''s exactly what I needed.
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
24,426
Date: 1/24/2007 12:12:06 PM
Author: Lorelei

Ellen, thank you so much for expressing what you went through so eloquently. Your words really hit home for me and my very similar situation. I know they will give ColorKitty some comfort too.
I''m glad if I helped you my friend, I''m just sorry it''s with something like this.
<--- Back to you.
 

Ellen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
24,426
Date: 1/24/2007 4:02:47 PM
Author: colorkitty

Again, thanks. It''s nice to have support, and even though none of us know each other that well, I think it''s exactly what I needed.
Here''s wishing you much luck on your journey.
 
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