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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY: July 31, 2005 ~ 6:15 pm ~ Part I


I've been thinking about what my husband told me about his conversation with my mother's husband. I am really reacting to it. Three things: (1) my mother getting angry, but not telling him for a few days and probably calling me then; (2) not being able to say anything negative when asked for his opinion; and (3) if he says anything to defend himself, when she is angry and yelling at him that it just makes her more angry and the situation worse...as he put it, "he goes to the bottom of the barrel."

Makes me tear up...really validated that things were really this way, but she has gotten a lot better, more mellow. Also, triggered memories of how she was with me, the arguments she had with my step-father or how she treats me now. Feeling sadness, fear and anger. Actually, more PRT (pain, rage, terror). Sometimes, I do these things and I feel bad about that.

My mother used to do all of the with my step-father all the time. Big difference is that he would argue too and it would escalate into their big arguments and fights. He basically needed to be right and so did she. He would say whatever he wanted and was on his mind. Sometimes, it seemed they would end up in an argument because they both needed to. Mom mother would do what her current husband said.

With me, I did more of what her husband does...I didn't say how I was feeling or what I was thinking and tried to calm her down if I said the wrong thing. Sometimes, it would be something seemingly neutral or insignificant that I would say in response or that I would initiate and she would blow up. Just as she does now with her husband. It didn't happen all the time which was worse to me as it was so unpredictable. I think I just stopped talking in these situations and didn't give my opinion. I also learned this in other situations. But, this happened frequently enough.

Thinking, she probably got angry with me because I wasn't available when she wanted to talk about being angry on vacation. Also, thinking that with the other two situations it is about mirroring. Like a child, she was wanting someone to mirror, or validate, that she was justified in being angry. She becomes angry if you don't mirror her thoughts and feelings.

I adjusted to her and really stopped giving my own thoughts or feelings. The being angry and not saying why was really bad when she did that to me. But, mostly she did this all the time with my step-father, but during those events the silent periods could last a week or more. But usually a few days, but she would verbally or physically lash our at me more frequently.

Makes me feel overwhelmed and panicky now thinking about it. I felt so trapped and like I needed to fix it which I sort of did my attending to her and trying to calm her down or keep her company often foregoing my own activities. Writing this makes me realize more that I really lost myself. Feel tearful. What her husband said really helped to validate my experience. I've been having flashbacks of being in those situations everywhere and especially on the holidays.

Observations: This really fits right in with the BPD series. I didn't time it, I just happened to be where I was in my past journals. I think it illustrates some of her BPD behavior. It makes me think and feel more of what was stirred up during it. I'm still trying to process and feeling emotional raw and vulnerable with the series. It really has taken a lot more out of me than expected. I guess, part of the problem is that I really do not want to believe that she was that sick and that growing up was that bad.


Tamara (TC) Staples said...


It has taken me a long time to realize that my mother was/is that sick and that growing up WAS that bad. Part of me hurts for her. However, understanding that it was that bad has allowed me to not be so hard on myself. I was not a bad kid, I did not do anything wrong, I did not deserve the abuse. These are all facts that it has taken me a long time to realize and accept but I feel better now that I have.


Laura said...

I'm glad you received validation. That's so important.

Anonymous said...

This reminds of things I went through. I think I certainly fell apart and spent a lot time convincing myself everything was fine and not as serious as it actually was. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Clueless said...

@Tamara. That is one of the most difficult things for me is to say it was that bad which I guess is part of the reason for the blog because it does help reality to sink in. I know it will help, but my defenses are really in full gear when it comes to it. I still feel bad and like I could have done something. I don't want to know how sick she is because then I have to acknowledge how bad it was. Tug of war.

@drifter. Yes, it was very helpful. Thank you.

@the stranger. I know that all too well.

Anonymous said...

It's not easy coming to terms with the reality of a relationship - especially one as fraught and difficult and important as the one we have with our parents.

And funny how just a few simple words of validation can start this cascade going in us. You've got so many mixed feelings to process, it's no wonder you teared up.

None of this is simple, I wish it was, CC, for your sake. At least sometimes because you've been through enough. You are healing though, slowly but surely and this post was like getting a bit of a window on that.

Clueless said...


I feel like my mind and my body are going to explode...to much inside instead of outside. Thank you for the encouraging words...I do see how far I have come...let see maybe, you mail the book anonymously from Australia and I pay you for it!! LOL!!

April_optimist said...

Sounds so much like the kinds of things I dealt with with my mother. Tried to fix things, keep BOTH my parents calm, etc. And of course, there's no way a child can do all that.

Clueless said...

Thanks April...I need to remember that I was a child. Then, maybe I can have some more compassion for myself.

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