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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, January 5, 2009

Christmas fun, irritations, anger and flashbacks!!!

I said that I would try for Monday's post to write about Christmas. Right now (Sunday evening), I'm feeling really depressed and am extremely sensitive to anything that feels like criticism. I'm feeling pushed aside and that has to be a projection. I'm questioning everything that I do...how I write, what I write, etc...

I thought that I was surprisingly calm and more relaxed about Christmas. That was until I slept most of the time for the next three days and it was filled with nightmares and the day with flashbacks. However, this was the most enjoyable Christmas since I became depressed, but there were also things that really triggered me that I still do not fully know.

Mostly, it was my mother. Anyone surprised? The first thing that she started talking to me about is my 87 year old grandmother who is not eating enough despite her physician telling her to do so and my mother. My mother was also filling her refrigerator with food. My grandmother still lives independently in her own home in a senior community.

I didn't know it until late the week following Christmas that the edge that my mother gets in her voice when she is "demanding" that you see things her way and validate her, immediately caused me to shut down and go away. I went into automatic mode and calmed her down, but still told her that she can't force her.

Please don't give me any suggestions about my grandmother...remember, I used to do this for a living. Besides, I know a little about what could be an eating disorder, health condition or depression.

I know that edge in my mother's voice so well and I act so automatically that I hadn't realized what I did until this week. I am really angry that she put me in the position on Christmas and that I couldn't even respond because I didn't even know what I was doing. I'm also angry and having flashbacks and nightmares of having to do that all the time growing up with her.

The second part has to do with my mother having no boundaries and acting like a two year old who wants attention, but can't ask directly. Or, one that is angry, so becomes passive aggressive. My husband even was angry at her.

I was sitting on the couch and watching television when my mother began poking me in the head with a toothpick and I told her to stop, but she continued. I was tired so I laid down hoping that would stop. Instead she kept trying to pinch my rear even though I told her to stop. Finally, I just moved and put my head on my husband, but she continued and he had to keep moving his hands to keep her away from me.

Later, I felt a lot of anger toward her lack of respect and just everything. I also got angry that this is the norm. She gets away with it in front of the whole family because that is "just the way she is and the family accepts it." Sometimes, the interfere, but usually I'm "deemed" the sensitive one who can't take a joke. I just feel angry at everyone and that isn't mentioning dealing with my self-hatred.

I'm still having really bad nightmares about being "caught" in similar situations especially at work..."no win or I'm at fault." And, having sensory flashbacks about growing up with these type of incidents. I am having a difficult time.

At least, my therapist said that he didn't want to go down to three times per week, of course, it was only after I told him that I didn't want to. However, we are working on acknowledging and accepting the way things were and are for me. I always thought that just knowing was enough. :-) Acknowledging and accepting is a whole different game. *sigh*


Anonymous said...

That get's me mad. Why do you spend time around her knowing how she is? Did you ever break on her and tell her everything that you have felt since you were a child?

kw said...

Oh Sweetie,

How awful that you are living all of this. But SWQ has a point....or two.

OK, so if you are comfortable with G-ma and her dietary needs, that's one hurdle gone. I know that elderly people are less hungry, so as you know, it's important to keep them on a high nutrient/calorie diet. Unless they only want bon-bons, which you simply can't argue!

Anyhow, back to yo' Mama. Now, in my life I deeply love my mummy. I also happen to love my daddy, who never wants to see me again. Ergo, my mum and I hadn't seen each other in about five or six years.

Then I got wise through my shrink. She hinted on the family not wanting to see me.

Long story short: My mum came to see me for the first time in five years.

My dad never wants to see me again, for reasons that I've written in my blog posts. It was shattering to find out that the man held up to my sister and I as a demi-god had chosen to shut me out of his life forever.

I offer you the humble opinion that your friends are your chosen family. If your family is not your loving friend, then they only give you the gift of guilt.

All love to you and your chosen hearts, D

Ethereal Highway said...

I think it is perfectly normal to be angry about your mother's behavior. If I spent much time with my mother, she would eventually start up with her crap, too. I know how upsetting and disappointing this must be for you. I'm so sorry things turned out the way they did.

And I'm glad you were able to tell your therapist what you needed and wanted with your therapy schedule.

J said...

I commend you on handling all of this as an adult even when apparently your mother cant. I'm proud of you. You're strong, intelligent and better than your mom and those around you. Be encouraged, keep moving forward. You should probably pull your mother aside and give her a piece of your mind about her childish behavior. aside from that, I am proud of how you handle yourself and you should be too.

Clueless said...

@SWQ. Thanks. It is too much to get into as to the reason this is not possible.

@Dano. I'm sorry about your situation, but you have wise words. Thank you.

@Etheral Highway. Thank you!

@J. Thank you and I am proud of how I handled her.

Anonymous said...

I pictured myself smacking your mom's hand when she acted like a child.


I felt a little better with that.

But still.

I love you, you're an amazingly strong person, and I'm proud of you for continuing to trudge forward!

Clueless said...


Thank you for the compliment. My therapist has fantasies of just chewing her out. This Christmas was hard because I realized that this is how she always has been and what I say doesn't matter. But, you go ahead and smack her hand okay. :-)


Isaiah 49 :15 -16

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