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Had a realization today

LifeDestroyer posted 9/18/2020 20:28 PM

While driving to school today, I had a realization. I don't even know what made the thought flood into my head, but it hit me hard.

I realized that my uncomfortableness /shutting it down with being vulnerable came from my mom. I would go to her upset and crying begging her to stop fighting with my dad or to finally get a divorce because I was tired of having to break up their physical fights. She would always tell me that I was overreacting and crazy to think that they had issues.

I would be crying having just finished pulling her away from hitting my day before he could hit her back, and she would say "if you think I'm such a bad mom then move out and go live with someone else." I heard that many times from her throughout my childhood/teenage years.

When I would beg my aunt or brother to come help me stop the fighting between my parents, they would say that they were tired of it and didn't want to come. I was a damn child, and they left it up to me.

If I cried about anything, then I was overreacting. HOWEVER, if I wasn't there to comfort her when she was upset, then it was because I didn't love her.

At 16, after being told that I must have not remembered correctly about being touched sexually by uncle, I'm pretty sure that's when I stopped being vulnerable with anyone. What was the point? I grew up only knowing people telling me that I was silly or overreacting or lying about my feelings.

I started crying while driving, trying to not let my daughter see it. I didn't want to start her day like that. I started worrying that I would do that to my daughter one day. I don't want to be my mom. I want my daughter to know that we will always listen to her and never tell her that she is being silly for feeling a certain way. I try to be mindful of that. I always ask her everyday how her day was, the good and the bad. When she mentions how she's upset that we aren't a whole family still, I tell her that I understand and that it's ok to be upset by it. I'm always telling her, especially lately, that's it's ok if she's not always happy or if she wants to cry.

But I still worry that negative little bits of my mom will come out of me. I never thought that my mom was perfect, but I also never realized just how much she screwed me up.

JBWD posted 9/19/2020 02:05 AM

Itís amazing how we start to connect the dots the more time we have- Iím proud of you for seeing and recognizing this, LD!

I don't want to be my mom.

I went through the same fear when my Dad attempted suicide- I was so angry at him and frustrated that he would keep taking and leave my Mom feeling abandoned and unworthy... Itís scary to see the mask removed and to further associate with what we now see as negative attributes that we are terrified of inheriting.

What I continue to struggle with is instead of focusing on what I want to NOT be, I try to be positive in the sense of instead affirming the things I WANT to be.

Youíre doing great in the midst of a lot of really hard times- Donít be afraid to be honest with your daughter as well, while we want to keep a brave face, what better way to learn about being emotionally honest than to see it modeled?

Keep moving, LD, weíre here with you!

forgettableDad posted 9/19/2020 08:47 AM

Your family sounds so similar to mine. It also took me a long time to realize how much of an effect my parents had on the behavioural patterns I've developed...

It's so funny, I was always so mindful of not being my mom or my dad and telling myself I'm nothing like them - that I ended up acting exactly like them. All the way down to lies, financial ruin and eventually an affair.

I've learnt, through my IC, to take distance from them (which is hard), to develop an internal father/mother figures, Ones that I want my children to have. And, in the end, to understand that whenever I give my children a hug, I should also hug myself in that.

I wish I could offer words of wisdom or some comfort. But I really don't have any. I can say, however, that from all I've read of your experiences on this forum (and speaking as a father of 3), I think you're a good parent.

BraveSirRobin posted 9/19/2020 09:37 AM

I've spent a lot of time with my parents over the past few weeks, and I've realized that blame shifting and avoiding accountability were modeled for me my entire life. My dad has an established pattern: first, see if there's any chance someone else is responsible for something he did ("Who moved my keys? Was it you? You're sure?"), and if that doesn't work, catastrophize his error (literally shouting things like "This is a disaster, I should be shot, I'm not fit to live"). My mother will come at it from a paranoid angle; she'll genuinely believe that someone broke into the house and stole whatever she's misplaced, no matter how implausible that is.

Both of them had parents who did not forgive small errors, so I can see clearly why they developed these unhealthy coping mechanisms. But somehow, I was completely blind to how I absorbed the unspoken lesson: if you do something wrong, it's a disaster, so you'd better find a way to rewrite the narrative immediately to avoid facing your own worthlessness.

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