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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.

Monday, September 22, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY ~ September 30, 2005 ~ 6 PM ~ Mother flashbacks


[I wrote about how difficult my work day had been and had several triggers.] ...All day, I wanted to cut and bruise and to really hurt myself. Thought about making purchases. And, kept going away. I went through a red light and stopped at a green [dissociating while driving]. Scared me. I really just felt bad all day and teared up, at times. After my meetings, I had no focus, so I finger painted [which is posted on Courageous Steps].

I thought some about what you said about my not saying anything or running away as a way to protect my mother. Feels bad because I interpreted as I should have done or said something. But, I also get the part about protecting her. I think there is some truth in it. But, still feels like I was bad for not saying or doing anything to make it stop. [Normal guilt from someone who was abused. It is part of the process.]

This morning one of the things that I remembered was my mother yelling at me when we went skiing and a snowstorm started. I remember, I was really scared to move as I couldn't see in front of me and the cliff was on my left side, but I couldn't see it.

My mother kept screaming at me to ski down the mountain and she just kept getting more and more angry. I wanted to cry because I was so scared because I couldn't see where I was going and she kept screaming at me. I know though, she was screaming because she was scared and the storm was getting much worse. I remember starting to cry a bit once. I finally got down and into the car. But she continued to yell at me for not obeying her. I stopped tearing up and just went away. I knew she kept yelling and eventually stopped. Don't know why this came to mind this morning. [Thinking about it now, it seems like I was trying to tell myself what my mother was responsible for and I wasn't. And, just in general continuing to have flashbacks.]

Feels like a part of me is just really sad and need to cry. I think, it would have been more helpful if she would have acknowledged I was scared and gently talked me down the mountain. Instead, I got down because she scared me. Not that the snowstorm wasn't scary enough. She has often talked about it since and referred to me as being stubborn, I don't think that she got that I was scared, but maybe she did. I understand that she was yelling because she was scared. [Again, her borderline thinking and needing me to be bad because she can't see or accept her part in it.]

I was scared most of the time growing up...scared of my mother, my father, my step-father, and his father. And, I felt bad all the time, wanted to die, was afraid of being killed, felt overwhelmed, panicked and so alone and misunderstood. Felt like I didn't matter, wasn't important and that it wasn't okay to cry, be sad, be angry, be scared or even be excited and happy. I was bad for wanting comfort, someone to listen to me, for existing, not wanting to go to my step-father's parents and wanting to stay at my Grandparents home. It wasn't even okay to talk about my feelings...and they felt so jumbled. [I remember being really confused and feeling alone with my thoughts and feelings.]

I wonder if part of my not killing myself was also a way of protecting my mother. But, sometimes I hated her because when the bottom line came she always chose my step-father over me even if previously she told me differently. Action wise, she always chose him. Felt like I didn't exist sometimes, I wasn't important.

I didn't matter except for when she needed my comfort or for me just to listen to her complain about him and how she wanted to leave him and was going to...but the next moment, she would be all affectionate with him and angry with me...all very confusing. Felt like I had to listen to her complain and had to listen to her complain and degrade my father. [Borderline symptoms again with my being either all good or all bad and she need my step-father to be all good because of her fears of abandonment.]

I can't remember not being her source of comfort and someone to listen to her. But, it was never okay for me to talk about my feelings...either they were invalidated, minimized, teased or she would become angry. I feel like screaming and crying. Sometimes, when I feel like screaming...it seems like it comes from a preverbal time. Maybe, even as an infant, I just wanted to curl up and disappear.

The flashbacks make me feel like I'm going crazy...can't get the sounds, sensations, feelings or the images out of my head. Makes me want to injure myself or die.

Observations: Again, I find it amazing how I am having the same issues now and struggling with crying and accepting my mother the way she really is/was. This process is long and painful.


Tamara (TC) Staples said...


Accepting your mother the way she was/is has got to be extremely difficult because she is not a healthy, whole person that can give back the kind of love you want and deserve. A healthy mother would have gently coaxed you down the mountain being concerned for your fear and needs and setting her own aside. It is wonderful that you understand her illness the way you do. This still cannot make it easier to know you have a mother who could not/would not protect you and love you as she should have.

I am kind of in the same boat in that my mother is incapable of love. I tried for 40+ years to do anything and everything to gain the love I desperately wanted from her. It will never happen. She cannot love. It was a very hard fact to face but I understand it now and I can live with it.

I truly get how badly you don't want to face that things were a wrong as they were in your childhood and with your mother. I am hoping for you that as you come to terms with it you can find peace. I am really praying that you can see the wonderful, caring, understanding, supporting, intelligent, strong person that you are and be proud of yourself for those characteristics.

Much love,

Laura said...

Although I can't even image the horrors you experienced as a child, this post triggered memories in me of having my voice and feelings stifled as a child. Those memories are painful. It's difficult to go through childhood having only yourself to listen.

Clueless said...

Tamara, thank you for the hugs and your words. I think, I am really fighting this whole issue and a part of me knows that it is true and another part wants to believe that it really isn't that bad. But, I know the truth and close my eyes like a kid thinking it isn't there if I can't see it.

It is as I let go that I am able to see myself in a more positive light. And, people like you help tremendously.

thank you,

Clueless said...

drifter, that was extremely well put and resonated with me to my core. Thank you.

Michelle (The Beartwinsmom) said...

((((CC)))) My gosh you and I have much in common about our mothers not being there as a source of comfort and how they chose the step-father over us. I know exactly how you feel, and how PAINFUL those voices are.

Glad I found your blog and thanks for adding me as a friend on Wellsphere. I look forward to getting to know you.

Clueless said...

michelle, thank you for visiting my site. I'm glad that you can relate. It is nice not to feel so alone. I look forward to getting to know you.

Anonymous said...

Constant stream of warm, healing thoughts your way.

Amazing. You are absolutely amazing. You've really come so far, and I'm so glad you're still moving towards wellness. I know it's hard, especially in the moment of it... but you're an amazing woman. And I know you're going to accomplish what you set out to do. love & light, me

Clueless said...

Thank you Ash,

Today, I just want to scream, "THIS SUCKS!!!" It is such hard work, but I am a resolute fighter!!

Clueless said...

Ash, home grown tomatoes would help. :-)

Immi said...

In spite of my mother "did" anything to me at all. She just didn't listen, always voted on the father/stepfather/boyfriend side of things, and so on. Then one day my therapist asked if I thought it was ok for another mother to treat her child that way. No, I didn't, and do not. Since then I'm forced from inside to look at it and deal with it, even though I hate it so much and don't want to. On one hand it feels healthy, but on the other it feels so heavy and ominous. We keep going anyway, though, eh?

Clueless said...

Immi, sigh...whatever speed we keep trying to move forward. But, sometimes, I just lay there or roll a bit back down the path. But,the overall movement is forward.

Hopeful Happiness said...

I want to turn back time and make everything better for you. Your childhood sounded horrible, I'm just happy you can talk about it openly here. Flashbacks are hard to deal with, especially painful ones. Sending love your way ♥

Clueless said...

Thank you Hopeful! I wish the same, but then I would be who I am today. Thank you for your support. It means a lot.

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