Author Topic: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had  (Read 41636 times)

Sara Ann

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Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« on: June 16, 2013, 05:27:50 PM »
Hello,

It's been a long time since I posted here. I took care of my mom through a long, debilitating, finally terminal illness for 17 years. She finally died peacefully, at home (which was her wish, she never spent a single day in a nursing home), almost a year ago. The anniversary of her death is approaching.

I'm realizing my grief has more to do with the mother I never had, than the mother I had. My mom was emotionally cruel to me my whole life, and I suffered childhood neglect that these days would put someone in jail. I was singled out for bad treatment...my sister and brother were treated much differently. Ironically, I was her primary caretaker in her illness. I took excellent care of her and when she died, the hospice director wrote me a note saying they had taken a vote in the office and that all of them wanted me for their caregiver if they ever needed hospice care. To me it was more about what kind of daughter I wanted to be, than what kind of mother I had. But everyone who was coming in and out of my mother's house assumed that my mom must have been ultra-great because of everything I did for her. That couldn't have been more untrue. Even in death, she cheated me in the will compared to my brother and sister. I thought that when she died, she couldn't hurt me any more, but she had that one more thing planned. My sister ripped the will open to show me, before she died. I thought that that was particularly cruel.  I'm not materialistic; this isn't about stuff I wish I'd inherited. It's about her telling me one more time that I wasn't worth as much as my brother and sister.

I am struggling with ongoing feelings of worthlessness. Intellectually I know it's not true that I'm worthless, but she imprinted it on my soul and it comes to the surface when it's time to take care of myself. I also have the problem that while she was ill and needing round-the-clock care, several of my closest friends died, unexpectedly. I haven't had time to rebuild my personal life so whatever pain I'm feeling, I'm feeling it alone. I have friends but they are the "let's have lunch a week from Tuesday" kind of friends, not the "call me at 2:00 a.m. if you are in despair" kind of friends. Those latter kind of friends are the ones who died while I was taking care of Mom. I couldn't even stop to go to their funerals.  I lost my high school sweetheart (who had morphed into a really excellent close friend over the years), my best friend (who died unexpectedly during chemo for spine cancer), my mentor from high school (beloved English teacher), and my best neighbor at the condo complex where I live (her cancer unexpectedly returned). I only got to go to one of those four funerals.

I've been starting to try to identify what the holes are, what I'm missing, and what I have no hope of ever having in terms of a mother's love. Nothing I ever did for her, no act of kindness, changed her treatment of me, and still, I never lost hope until she died that our relationship could improve. When she died, I had to give up that hope.

My whole life I struggled alone with whatever problems I had, and while it made me very independent and competent, it also made me lonely and hesitant to trust anyone else.  I always wanted a Mom who would listen and try to help. Instead, I had a Mom who was completely self-absorbed and hateful. Whatever problem I had, hers was ten times worse. She lied to me repeatedly and by lying, manipulated me into doing things for her that I wouldn't have ordinarily done. She told me before she died that she had lied to me whenever she felt it was in her best interest to do so. She didn't seem to have any conscience at all about it.

My own health isn't good and to make things more challenging, I was in a car crash about a month ago that gave me a concussion and injured 14 discs in my spine.  I am still having symptoms from the concussion (fatigue, brain fog, slower processing, etc.), and I have pain and weakness from the spine injuries. I'm mad at God for not giving me good health, so that I could have a better quality of life now that Mom is gone. The person who hit me from behind last month was a criminal with no driver's license. So I don't even have the peace of thinking it was a good person who just had an accident and didn't mean to hurt me. I know it was a criminal who had no legal right to drive because of previous drug arrests.

I've tried to go to counseling. I've had to terminate twice with counselors in the last year for really bad screw-ups, unethical behavior, things that hurt me.  I've lost hope in that kind of help. I don't want to be hurt any more by people who are supposed to be helping me.

It's also really awful in our society to not have the typical "I miss my mom" type of grief. There's shame attached to being an unmothered daughter. I got all of these inappropriate cards when my mother died, all of them saying something about how I must miss this wonderful person who was my mother. They obviously didn't know her, and didn't know anything about how she treated me. These people were trying to be nice, and I appreciated their kindness. I just felt sick that I couldn't tell them the truth and get the sympathy that I really needed.

Other than all this, I'm great. (My sense of humor is still intact.)

If you've read this far, thank you, and please say a prayer for me. I am struggling. I know from replying to many people here that sometimes it's hard to know what to say to people. Just being able to say "I care" and being willing to say a prayer is big.

God bless you and keep you,

Sara Ann



Terry

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2013, 09:41:13 PM »

(((((((((Sara)))))))))

I 'do' care, and thank you for sharing what's been going on in your life. This post couldn't have been easy for you to write; it's obvious that your pain runs deep and also for very long. I can't share that 'I understand' because I don't. (I have not experienced this rejection from either of my parents, though my precious son did and I will share a little with you.) They were wonderful. What I 'can' relate to (and many others on these boards can also) is the unconditional love and sacrifice of being a caregiver as I too cared for my Dad here in my home for 11 years and he died from the awful disease of Alzheimers about a year and a half ago. I miss him terribly.

If I may ask, did your siblings offer to help out with your Mom's care at any point in her illness?

The father of my eldest son who died was emotionally abusive and I denied him any visitation as the only time he wanted to see my son was when he was drunk or had a new girlfriend and was trying (in his warped manner) to impress them. My son could not understand why his father didn't love him. Years of therapy followed and nightmares, not to mention a river of tears. I explained to my son that his father did not love himself so he was incapable of loving anyone else. But, his actions and lack of, hurt my son deeply and the rejection scarred him.

My point in sharing this is to let you know that I do understand how being rejected by a parent who is supposed to unconditionally love you, can leave you with feelings of worthlessness and instill an insecurity of self and damage the soul. My son's father was emotionally sick, had poor impulse control, narcissistic, an unevolved ego and was lacking the basic human skills to function as a kind, decent human being and also, and most importantly a loving parent. His soul was also damaged by his own father; it seems to be a cycle, this abuse in families.

I understand that by my sharing with you that you are 'not' worthless and that your feelings of hurt and rejection are the result of someone else's deficiencies, does not diminish the weight of your message or the depth of your pain and the damage that these deficiencies in another has caused you. I'm sure you already realize this.

I instilled in my son the need to move forward with his life, appreciating the love he received from his family and friends and to be continually reaching for an unattainable goal would only further stunt his growth and harm any chance for him to enjoy an emotionally healthy future. He finally came to terms with this realization in his early twenties and 'did' find love and also had a beautiful daughter that he adored. He was a very good father. He died when she was 4, almost 5 but I had the honor of watching him unconditionally love his daughter, breaking the awful cycle of abuse and her memories of him are beautiful and will always be. Although I'm left with only memories of my son, they are wonderful memories.

We can't change our past but we can certainly change our future. You mentioned that you tried counseling but didn't persue it. Sometimes we have to keep trying until we find the right fit. It's like anything else....nothing in life is a perfect fit.

There are other members who have had difficult childhoods and maybe when they stop by and see your post they, too will share their stories with you. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, Sara but I can only share what my own precious son experienced and the pain I felt that seemed overwhelming I know couldn't compare to what he had to live with.

Please know that we are here for you and keep posting and sharing your feelings. It helps, a lot.

And, know that you are special, and wonderful and deserving of all of the love that can and will find your heart.

Sending hugs and my love to you, Sara,
Terry
"I'm thankful I have my writing to turn to.  And reading and my pets.  It is at times like these, I remind myself to think of gratitude and things I am thankful for." -Wally (Wally49er/Spouse Loss)

helene

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2013, 07:00:53 AM »
Hi Sara Ann,

I read your post and my heart truly goes out to you with what you've been through when your mother was alive and are going through now that she is gone. My mother is still alive but she and I are completely estranged from each other. I am 50 and she is 91 and 99% of people I encounter will never understand or accept why I never see my 91 year old mother or the fact that I will  most likely never see her again.

You are so right that the grief of losing a mother who was cruel to you your whole life is a very different experience than the kind of grief so many other people have when they lose a mother with whom they are close and a mother who was kind and loving. Like yourself, I put most of my entire life into my mother who was a bottomless pit of need and want and demands, up until I was 47. I managed to get married (no children) and have a job, but never did the things I really wanted to do with my life because of my mother's demands.

(I've just been interrupted here and I'll post back in a few minutes because I've got more to share.)

Helene.


Helene & Lesley

helene

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 08:15:44 AM »
Hi Sara Ann,

I'm going to try to finish what I started in my previous post to you. My mother took and took from me and I gave and gave until one day, my barrel was empty. I had no more to give her. I guess something in me realized that this woman who called herself my 'mother' would keep taking from me and giving nothing back until I was sucked bone-dry. It is easy for women like that (and they are out there!), to hide or disguise themselves behind this Norman Rockwell image of 'motherhood' - of the kind and loving and nurturing mother. My 'mother', I'll call her June, got away with everything including murder. She as much as murdered my older sister Lesley, who died back in 2010: psychologically, emotionally and physically.

June used me and abused. Mocked me and lied to me. Told me she was going to visit her 'real' family when visiting my younger sister's family. She did worse things than that to me like sabotage to my music career, and trying to ruin my marriage and other things, but I won't go into all the grisly details. Like yourself, I held out with hope that one day June would show some real love for me, especially because I was the one of her four children who was always there for her, and I mean really THERE for her like you were for your mother. When I became estranged from June I quickly found out that she could care less and got on with her life just as well without me. This, from the woman who threatened to kill herself when I first left home. She never killed herself and nor did she ever intend to. Her 'threat' was just one more lie in an endless string of them.

What kind of woman was my 'mother' then? And what kind of woman was yours? Well, I know that my mother is a sociopath. These people have no conscience and are masters of deceit, manipulation and using people for their own ends. It does not matter one iota who that person is: husband, lover, colleague, friend, and yes, daughter. They are incapable of love, remorse, and are completely unable to empathize with anyone. Most people think that sociopaths are killers, etc, but there are many sociopaths who are out there living day-to-day lives amongst people who have no idea what hit them when encountering these people. Being 'raised' by a sociopath is a devastating experience and many of us survivors barely make it and feel extremely isolated because others who haven't been through this simply don't and won't understand what we've been through.

This is especially difficult for daughters (and sons) with sociopathic mothers because society absolutely refuses to acknowledge that such women exist. And they certainly don't exist when it comes to being a 'mother'.  You wrote: "I had a Mom who was completely  self absorbed and hateful. Whatever problem I had, hers was ten times worse. She lied to me repeatedly and by lying, manipulated me into doing things for her that I wouldn't have ordinarily done. She told me before she died that she had lied to me whenever she felt it was in her best interest to do so. She didn't  seem to have any conscience at all about it. "

That statement your mother made to you on her deathbed was most likely the most 'honest' statement your mother ever made to you in her life: "I lied to you whenever I felt it was in my best interest to do so." That is exactly what sociopaths do. On her deathbed, I think, in her own way, your mother finally decided to tell you who she was."

I won't go on any more for now and I hope I haven't upset you with this! I also have thoughts on some books that I think would be helpful for you and tips on how to find a therapist who is dependable (as I've been in therapy for many years) if you would like me to share that with you. I can communicate from a perspective of being 50 years on this planet so I've had some experience and have read a lot about various mental and psychological disorders including borderline personality disorder, bipoloar disorder, to narcissistic personality disorder to sociopaths. (There is also a possibility that your mother had narcissistic personality disorder - which is a person who feels emotions like loneliness (the sociopath only 'feels' 3 things: a gloating kind of glee at winning, boredom and rage) but the narcissist, like the sociopath, is completely incapable of feeling and love or empathy for anyone else. In essence, from what I've read, a narcissist is only a slight peg 'up' from the sociopath.

I can really relate to what you wrote and again, I hope I haven't upset you here.

With caring,

Helene.

PS Sorry for typos.


Helene & Lesley

Sara Ann

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2013, 09:25:14 AM »
Wow, Helene and Terry, thank you both so much for your kindness and your sharing your own journeys with me. I never dreamed there would be anyone on the board who would both have a clue what my time was like with my mom, and be willing to share their own experiences. I am so sorry for what both of you went through.

Terry, it sounds like you were an awesome caregiver for your dad. I'm sure you blessed him every day with your love and care. With my mom, I had primary responsibility for 17 years but my sister helped by taking the "night shift" for the last two years of my mother's life. It may not sound like much that she did that, but it was huge to me because it meant I was able to sleep in my own bed every night. We also divided some of the paperwork so I didn't have to do all of it. I did have the major paperwork related to getting her VA benefits to help pay for care for her at home. Even with everything I and my sister did, we still had to hire some people to come in occasionally because my mother couldn't be left alone at all and it was exhausting to care for her. My brother is a missionary in Asia so he flew in and out to visit, but didn't have any responsibility for my mom's care. He did help us with money near the end when we were having to hire people to come in to give us a break. I'm so thankful that your son had some good years that weren't plagued by his lack of relationship with his father, and I'm so sorry that he didn't live longer to love his family and enjoy life more. Hearing your story about him and what he went through with his dad reminds me that none of us have time to waste when it comes to loving and living. We need to heal, so that we can have the kind of joy he had with his daughter.

Helene, I'm so sorry about your mom. She sounds like a monster. The fact that you survived your childhood says a lot about you and your determination to have a good life. I do want to hear what you read, what you did for therapy, what has helped, what did not. Your post suggests to me that you've done a lot of work to triumph over your childhood and that you've enjoyed some success and healing. That gives me hope, that things can get better.  I do think my mom was a narcissist, and with some of the sociopathic tendencies that you identified.  I think you did right to pull away from your mom and reclaim your life. I didn't pull away from my mom while she was alive; I was hoping her death would liberate me and it did in terms of day-to-day responsibilities, but the psychic wounds are still there and still painful.  I know I need counseling but I've had such bad experiences (two recently) with it that I feel I need a very safe situation to try again. I am 53 and I am way too young to give up on having a good life, even with all the things that are wrong with me physically. 

Helene, I hear you with regard to the havoc your mother wreaked in your life. There are the everyday losses and then the great big things that they messed up for us. When I was younger, my mother effectively prevented me from marrying someone with whom I probably would have had a very wonderful life. I would have been in Paris (!) with someone who was full of fun and joy. Someone who loved me. I'm interested in looking back only to identify what I need to grieve, so that I can grieve and hopefully one day get past the grief. But I do think an essential part of the process is to identify the losses, to admit them to myself and to at least one other human being. There were so many. Little things and great big things.

I can't tell you how much it means to me that both of you took the time to write and let me know what happened in your own lives. When my mom died, one of my friends said, "remember only one person died and that person was not you." What he was saying is that being alive means we can make a gift of each day to ourselves and others.  We're still here. We still have the possibility of having good days. Even on bad days we can hope that not all days will be bad.

I hope both of you will stay in touch and share with me what you did to survive and thrive in your own circumstances. I so appreciate both of you being there. Thank you so much for your kindness and your prayers.

Sara Ann

helene

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2013, 11:54:41 AM »
Hi Sara Ann,

It is good to share here at Webhealing and I'm glad you feel you can share here too. I don't have much time right now, but I wanted to let you know that I will keep in touch. I haven't been here as much as I used to and I regret that. Grief doesn't end I find (I lost Lesley in 2010) but it keeps morphing into new feelings and experiences as time goes on. I too am grieving for a mother I never had and never will have in this particular life of mine (I'm into reincarnation). One thing that is helping me are having two women therapists who I took some time in choosing and checking out. (I did that by asking them lots of questions. I never did that with previous psychotherapists and other kinds of therapists and that was a mistake on my part. Now I ask them: "What led you into the field of psychotherapy? What is your speciality? What do you know about narcissists, sociopaths, dissociative identity disorder? What do you know about abusive mothers? Have you ever been abused? If so, when and what kind of abuse? etc You can usually get a pretty good handle on a therapist after firing a few questions like that at them and, if they're the real thing, they won't have any problems or defensiveness with those kinds of questions. So, I now have two women who are positive, powerful and kind to me. One is also into the esoteric arts of which makes the two of us click even more. I'll write more of other things that have helped me very soon.

For now, I am so sorry that your mother kept you from staying with your true love and living in Paris!! I think it is very wise of you to look back only to identify what you need to grieve in the hope of moving past it one day. I believe that we can move past our grief and there was one time when I never thought that possible in my life. I get a sense of you from what you wrote Sara Ann and you have a real gift for expressing your feelings in writing. Is that one of the things you love to do in your life? I find that finding ways to enhance our innate gifts can help us work through our grief, (grief in all its complexities). I am a writer (poetry, prose)  a violinist and a painter.  My full time work is in archives but my true love is in the arts, as well as being outdoors in nature.

I'll stop babbling for now. I'll write down some of the titles of books that have really helped me when it comes to figuring out my mother and the legacy of her terrible impact on my life.  One of those books I can tell you right off the top of my head: 'The Sociopath Next Door", by Dr. Martha Stout. (How 'bout 'The Sociopath in Your Home'? Maybe I should write that one, eh?)


I believe in prayer Sara Ann and I am holding you in mine.
Helene.


Helene & Lesley

Sara Ann

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2013, 08:23:06 PM »
Dear Helene,

Thank you so much for letting me in on some things that are helping you. Yes, I'm a writer. I'm not writing very well right now because of my concussion from the car crash, and I'm not worrying about it here. But I've done a lot of professional writing and editing. I'm also taking art class, for the first time ever.  I had a deep wound from childhood: my parents paid for art lessons for my sister but wouldn't for me (one of many cruel, inequitable things from my past). I grew up thinking I had no art talent whatsoever, because that message was given to me. This is in spite of the fact that I have always loved art. I've done a lot of professional PR work for artists. Many years ago, I was even the art critic for a newspaper in a major city. A couple of months ago, my friend (and writing client) Lori decided to start teaching adults to paint on weekend evenings, and she asked me if I wanted to come take the class.  At first I thought, "no, I can't do it..." and then I had the thought that I could go to the class and not tell anyone, just in case my mother was right about my not having any art talent. Well, the third or fourth lesson I was walking to my car with what I had painted that night and someone who was having dinner at a sidewalk cafe tried to buy it from me. When I refused, they offered me more money for it. I didn't sell it, but it made me think...and something got healed. A few weeks later I'm heading down to my car with another painting and someone else at a sidewalk cafe tries to buy it, and when I refuse he gives me his name and number and begs me to paint another one. My teacher saw this and was very happy. I'm now getting private lessons on Friday nights and she is teaching the rest of the group on Saturday. She says I have talent. I'm not ready to say that, but I am having a good time, and I've painted a couple of things that I like better than some things I have on my wall right now that I've bought from artists. So I've bought some frames from thrift stores and I'm thinking about rehabbing the frames and putting a couple of my own things on the wall. Painting also rests a part of my brain that really needs to rest. It stops all thinking, except thinking about what color green I want in my palm tree. Right now I have all my paintings lined up on my sofa, lol, except one that I've stuck on the wall. I have to do something about that because right now, there's nowhere to sit on my couch.

I think it would help me to talk a little about some of the abuse I suffered from my mother. I have huge gaps in childhood memory, which isn't surprising. But one of the things I do remember is getting locked away whenever I started to cry (I couldn't come out until I could prove that I was "cheerful" -- this was really sick). I was locked in my room -- no food, no water, no bathroom.  I didn't get enough to eat (this wasn't an economic problem, this was how much food I was rationed), and I was anemic. I got MSG migraines and my mother cooked with MSG all the time. There wasn't anything else available to eat, so I spent a lot of my childhood with a migraine. I also had a couple of food allergies and my sister (who was pretty cruel herself at times) would force-feed me food to which I was allergic. She was trying to kill me.  She also took off the cast when I broke my collarbone (she thought it was ugly). My mother saw all of this and never stopped it. My brother would beat me, and if I took one swipe at him in self-defense I was severely punished (he was the golden child to my mother). The worst part was the relentless verbal abuse. She would say mean things, all the time, and she would make sure I knew my place with her. Neglect was the norm. I learned pretty quickly that if I had needs, I needed to take care of them myself or get them met outside our house. School was a refuge. But when I was four years old, our family moved to a neighborhood that had few children. My parents wouldn't drive me to see my friends. I was largely cut off from socializing outside of school until I was old enough to drive myself. When I got my license, there was a huge family fight over it. My sister had been given a sports car on her 16th birthday. I had to take my driving test in the family station wagon. My father decided to get me a car for my birthday (not a sports car, a modest older used car) and my mother hit the ceiling and didn't come down for a long time. It was a bitter feud, but in the end my father went out the door and bought the car.  So from that point on, I could escape the house and I did. I didn't have a curfew and I did have a house key. The only expectation was that I would go to school. So I would stay up at the diner with my best friend until 2:00 a.m., drinking coffee, and then I would get up at 6:00 a.m. and go to school. He had a hard home life as well, so we had a lot to talk about. We did a lot of dreaming about escaping. I was an excellent student because I knew that was my ticket out of that house, out of that town. I never considered going to college anywhere near my home. I won a lot of awards at school, but aside from her soaking up my sunshine at award ceremonies, they never meant anything to my mother. None of what I accomplished redeemed myself with her. I have a picture of myself that was in the newspaper from third or fourth grade; it is poignant. I had won an award, and there I was, so fragile and thin, with scraggly hair, in an ill-fitting dress (I got hand-me-downs while my sister and brother got beautiful new clothes). I looked like someone who nobody cared about.  I started sewing for myself (taught myself) when I was nine years old. I made my Easter dress that year. When I got compliments on it at church, no one could believe that I had made it myself. I can still remember what it looked like, it was a pretty white fabric with embossed pink flowers on it, and I had bought a matching ribbon to belt it. I had a babysitting job and the couple would always come home a lot later than they said, wobbly drunk. They always paid me well because they were so late getting back.  I took the money and went to the fabric store. We had a sewing machine because my sister was taking home economics. When she wasn't using it, I could and did.

When I started my period, my mother wouldn't talk to me about it, and I was scared to death. I was sure I was dying. I finally found a book in the library and read up on it.

I grew up feeling sure I had been adopted because I was treated so differently than my brother and sister. When I was twelve, I wrote my mother a long letter which basically said, "I know I'm adopted, and since you don't want me, why don't you adopt me out to a family where I will have a chance to be loved." My mother punished me for the letter; my father was very upset about it and told me I wasn't adopted. That news shattered me because being adopted was how I explained to myself all the neglect and abuse. The only good thing that came out of my giving my mother that letter is that my father said, "if you really need something, don't go to your mother, come to me." The few times I did then go to my father, my father bought whatever it was and then he and my mother fought bitterly about it.

My dad was not around much; he was working two jobs to support our family, and I think also, to avoid having to spend time with my mother. My mother was addicted to valium and alcohol and when she wasn't being mean, she was often passed out in bed. So my dad hired some household help for my mother. Ida Mae didn't treat me differently than my brother and sister, and thank God. I have good memories of her getting me snacks and letting me read to her while she was ironing.  Ida Mae wouldn't let my sister and brother be mean to me. I loved Ida Mae.

My mother was a southern Baptist, so of course her presumption was that she would fly through the pearly gates of heaven. But I have a different idea. I envision an interrogation room, outside the pearly gates, where she is still answering questions. They don't like her answers, so the gates remain shut to her.

Thank you all for listening to this, and for sharing with me and praying for me. I really appreciate it.

Sweet dreams,

Sara Ann




Terry

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 10:14:40 PM »

Terry, it sounds like you were an awesome caregiver for your dad. I'm sure you blessed him every day with your love and care. With my mom, I had primary responsibility for 17 years but my sister helped by taking the "night shift" for the last two years of my mother's life. It may not sound like much that she did that, but it was huge to me because it meant I was able to sleep in my own bed every night. We also divided some of the paperwork so I didn't have to do all of it. I did have the major paperwork related to getting her VA benefits to help pay for care for her at home. Even with everything I and my sister did, we still had to hire some people to come in occasionally because my mother couldn't be left alone at all and it was exhausting to care for her. My brother is a missionary in Asia so he flew in and out to visit, but didn't have any responsibility for my mom's care. He did help us with money near the end when we were having to hire people to come in to give us a break. I'm so thankful that your son had some good years that weren't plagued by his lack of relationship with his father, and I'm so sorry that he didn't live longer to love his family and enjoy life more. Hearing your story about him and what he went through with his dad reminds me that none of us have time to waste when it comes to loving and living. We need to heal, so that we can have the kind of joy he had with his daughter.


Oh, Sara...I enjoyed every moment I was blessed to be in my Dad's company, regardless of the problems his awful disease caused at times. The confusion was normal, of course but the paranoia, delusions and the intense fear he felt at times was heartbreaking to watch him struggle with. I would have given anything to trade places with him so he would not have to go through what he did. Dad remained sweet and loving and caring and the beautiful man he had always been. No disease could ever take that away from him.

I try to remember that when we bare our souls that there's always a price to pay. But, we're worth it. Regaining emotional stability, confidence and self-worth which is priceless, are but a few of the rewards of sharing our pain and I prefer to view this experience as positive, in all ways. (There will always be more feelings that rise to the surface after sharing of our pain and some will include unresolved issues, but that's Ok) Another sleepless night, remembering the sadness, hurt and pain on my son's face (which is an image that is etched in my brain) strangely enough, actually brought a sense of peace to my heart last night. I always feel such a burden lifted when I write down what saddens me. And, the reward to my heart is knowing that you or anyone else I share with does not feel alone.

You're right, Sara that our time here is limited and it shouldn't be wasted. We all need to heal and we begin to heal when we open our hearts and souls to another. Thank You for that very important reminder.

We all have talents. Many talents. I hope that you persue your career in art. Writing is very therapeutic and can also be financially rewarding. We write because we "Love-to-Write" and anything after that is just icing. And, we all need to feel appreciated and what better way than to know our words have imprinted on someone's soul. I am so grateful for what I've learned from others through reading and especially from those who have found my 'hiding places.' It's a great feeling when someone finds you!

You have a story to tell; A long and painful one and your reward will come when writing and then while reading between those lines. They hold many secrets.

Please keep me updated on your art classes. I'm so glad you are following your heart and not allowing the discouraging and cruel remarks made to you to dampen your spirit or your will.

Sending hugs and love,  :icon_flower:
Terry
"I'm thankful I have my writing to turn to.  And reading and my pets.  It is at times like these, I remind myself to think of gratitude and things I am thankful for." -Wally (Wally49er/Spouse Loss)

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2013, 10:23:19 PM »

(((((((Helene))))))):love4:
"I'm thankful I have my writing to turn to.  And reading and my pets.  It is at times like these, I remind myself to think of gratitude and things I am thankful for." -Wally (Wally49er/Spouse Loss)

helene

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 11:05:04 AM »
Hi Sara Ann,

I read your searing and honest post and letter to me and am deeply moved by what you wrote. You have been through a terrible lot in life and life continues to be a struggle for you yet I can feel your resilience and life radiating through what you share!

As per usual I'm on the fly (am at work) and I won't be here tomorrow. But I want you to know that I'm around and will keep in touch. Just quickly...that is really super that you are discovering the artist in yourself and also that people are drawn to your art. I understand about feeling somewhat shy about people buying your art. It took me ages before I participated in an art show. My art has always been a very private and spiritual part of me, as I sense it is also that way with you. I certainly wish you all the best wish your art classes and like Terry, I hope you will share more of your artistic adventure with us.

Memory loss and huge gaps. Boy, can I relate to that! I too have big memory problems. It's all tied in with the childhood abuse as  you know, and both of us were severely abused growing up. Our mothers were at the center of the sickness in our families. Your mother certainly singled you out as her scapegoat and went out of her way to torture you. Being locked in your room with no food is blatant child abuse with intent! As was the favoring of your brother and sister over you. Your mother has a sadistic nature to her, whether that was part of sociopathy or narcissism who can know for sure, but it was there. I was my mother's 'cinderella', always catering to her moods, becoming her 'doctor' , 'confidant', 'nurse', and a mother to her, not to mention the meals and housework. Also with my mother was the fact that nothing I could do would please her or satisfy her. Everything I tried to do she could always do better. She was more attractive. Dressed better (buying crappy used clothes for me). Was brilliant musically. Was a better artist. On and on that went.

I think your mother was threatened by your natural talents, the way you were so gifted sewing your own clothes at only age nine! The way you excelled academically. She gave your sister art lessons but not you probably because she sensed that your sister was not a threat to her because your sister did not have your talent! My mother was like that: favoring my younger sister because Julie looked more like June and her talents lay in the business world of which my mother had no interest. Mothers like yours and mine are threatened by talented and gifted daughters. I think your mother chose to punish you because of your talents and, I sense, because you are probably physically attractive as well. Think of the jealous stepmother and stepsisters in Cinderella. None of them were as pretty and talented as Cinderella and the stepmother was going to make darn sure that her beautiful youngest stepdaughter was not going to have any chances in life to succeed or be happy.  (Also, it's interesting to note that evil or bad mothers in children's stories were turned into 'stepmothers' because it was not 'acceptable' in society to have such evil mothers in stories.)  It's no wonder that you felt like you were adopted the way your mother treated you!

There is an excellent book about differing kinds of 'borderline personality disorder' mothers. I forget the title and author, but will get back to you on that. Whether or not your mother has that, the book is very helpful in understanding mothers who abuse their daughters in various ways.

All through the abuse you suffered, you were a real survivor and continue to be. Your mother had a gem when she had you and she knew it. Most mothers would be so happy and feel so blessed to have a child like you, but, unfortunately, your mother was mentally ill and saw you as a threat to her precarious position in life. You couldn't have done anything about her as you know, and lord knows, you tried to please her time and time again, like I did for my mother. And it never worked because their hearts were closed to us.

Ida Mae sounds like she was a lovely person in your life! Thank God for those who love us! Those people can make all the difference in our lives and give us hope to continue on. And yes, I believe that your vision of where you mother is now, outside the pearly gates answering questions, makes sense to me. Her soul has a lot of learning to do! As does my mother.

More soon. I hope I am not blathering too much here. Please keep sharing Sara Ann. I am here as is Terry and other really good people here at Webhealing who truly love and care for each other.

Wishing you peace and harmony,

Helene.


Helene & Lesley

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 07:46:55 AM »
Sara Ann,

I too lost my mother 11yrs ago this summer,  unexpectidly.  She too was a sociopath. The problem is,  I am the only one who knows it.  I was the oldest child and my mothers only target.  I was abused in every way possible.  No one ever talks about a mother sexually abusing a daughter.  But it happens.  I was pulled out of bed in the middle of the night and stripped down and beaten, when I was barely 5.  My mother would lock the doors while little sister was out to play, while she beat me for no reason.  Because no one witnessed these events,  no one believes me, including my sister.


 When I tried to tell my aunts and little sister, even before she died, they disowned me and called me a liar.  Twenty two years later I am still disowned and not included in anyones life. I havent seen or heard from my little sister that I helped raise,  since the settling of my mothers estate,  3 mos after she died.  My heart still aches for that precious little sister who I now believe is living far away,  according to the internet. 

My mother did split the will equally between us. I cant imagine how hurtful that must have been for you. What a cruel mother!!  My sister and aunt told the atty that my mother "hated" me,  and demanded that I remove myself from the will.  I did not, and still got my measely share, which was not much b/c my mother was very poor.    They then proceeded to steal from the estate, and forge signatures to obtain a measely $100.00 check.  Its not about the money.  I dont need $100.00.   It was the fact that they did it.  I hear you on this one as well.

My father died, when I was 12.  He was a violent alcoholic but was a wonderful father when sober.  He promised my mother that if she got pregnant,  he would stop drinking.  I am that baby.  He never stopped drinking. 

She used to beat me in front of him when I was 4-8ish.  When he would try to stop her,  she would hit him too and keep hitting me. She punished me for the rest of her life.

 After he died,  she emotionally deteriorated, promising to kill me when I least expected it , on a regular basis, holding me down so her very young adolescent "boyfriend" could attempt to rape me.   I never told anyone. She threated to kill me if I did, and threatened to beat my little sister and make me watch her.  I knew she was capapble of this b/c I watched her do it to my own father.
I wouldve attacked her had she laid a hand on my precious little sister (who turned into someone just like her as she became an adult).

When I got the call that they had found my mother dead in her home,  my immediate thought was "now she cant hurt me anymore".  Boy was I wrong.  At least for the first 2 yrs of my grief.   

Loosing a monster mother was hard work!  I cried out "I want my mommy" so many times in that first 2 yrs of grief (I was 35).  Looking back I realized that for me,  I grieved in ages, not stages.    For two + years I cried like a child wanting mommy.   As the years moved on,  I 'grew up" in my grieving and cried for the mother that I never had as an adult, dreaming of a mother who would have shared recipes with me, cooking holiday meals together,  sharing marriage stories etc.   I never got that mother.  At first I tried.

After I became a young bride at 21,  I would go visit her, with dreams of her seeing me as an equal...a woman who had established my own career and household. Instead I was greeted with "oh the little bitch is back".    With a little more money in my pocket,  I would hunt for days for "the perfect gift" that would make my mother love me.  Only to be greated with " the little bitch bought me anther gift that I can throw away"  or  "I  dont want your gd gifts or money!".

  Eventually I had to remove myself and stopped visiting.  Every few yrs I would make another attempt,  but it was not to be.  Unfortunately my mother played on all of this with the family, (aunts uncle, and my little sister),  gaining much attention from them b/c I "abanded her".  Now they still see me as the one who abandoned her, and not the other way around.  Even now, they cant stand to look at me and do not speak to me, on the rare occaison we run into each other somewhere.
I have never even attempted to tell them about the munchausen by proxy issue she had (giving me meds to make me ill in order to gain attention),  or the sexual abuse.  If they dont believe me about the beatings,  they wont believe the other either. 

On Mothers Day 2002,  I made another attempt.  I bought her a blouse I just knew she would love and one that had sentimental meaning to both of us.  We made arrangements to drive 200miles to take her to lunch.  All was ok.   Until I arrived and found a note on the door.   "I'm not home.  Leave the gift on the porch".    My husband and I left the gift, and drove the 200miles back home,  me sobbing the entire way.  She never called or contacted me again,  and vice versa.  Three months later she died alone in her home, suddenly of a heart attack and was found hrs later. 

I was still so afraid of my mother after her death,  that I never turned my back on her body in that  casket, for fear this was all a bad joke that the family was playinga sick joke on me. I feared   that she would rise up out of that casket and yell "surprise" as she would watch me standing there in tears,  thinking she was dead,  and would make fun of me,  like she had done for so many yrs.  But that never happened, of course.  She is really gone.   

I  say all of this for one reason only.  To hopefully help you see that you are not alone.  I too thought that there was no one in my situation,  after she died.  My poor soul was so empty and hungry for anyone to understand me. That is what brought me here to webhealing,  almost 11 yrs ago.  It was my go to place at 2am when I couldnt sleep and needed to be with someone.  I would click on here and see all the post, and not feel alone.  and then I would write..and write and write.  It was healing.

 I do understand you and wrap my arms around you with encouragement and HOPE. Ican tell you honestly,  that I have healed in a huge way.  Therapy played a huge role for me (and yea, there are alot of idiot therapist out there.  I've met them as well). My faith played a role as well.  But it was all driven my my stubborness and determination to overcome it all.
 
I am 46,  and have a wonderful happy marriage.  I have a very good career that keeps me busy which keeps my mind occupied on other things, besides my past.  I chose not to have children, and do not regret it.  Therefore we have the freedom to travel and have fun and make new memories. I have a great big church that I can go to every Sunday and be fed by what the Bible teaches me about how to live,  reminds me that God is in control even when we dont always see His hand,  and most importably how this world is not the end. Heaven if for real, and so is God's justice in His time. I love my life!!

1.Write your heart out here as often as you need to.

2. Find books that will educate you on whatever issue you are having for that moment.  We cant change what we dont understand about ourselves, our past, our situation, our mother, etc. 

3.  Ask local church or friend for a therapist referral.  Therapy is like dating.  You meet alot of quacks/jerks before you finally find the right one.

4.  Make friend and go out..movies, lunch,  picnics, even when you dont feel like it.  It will help lift your mood,  keep your mind occupied so that you are not sitting around thinking too much,  and is a nice reminder that you really are not as alone as you feel.  Thank goodness 'feelings'  are not "facts",   right? :)

5.  If you are not working,  find something,  just to force yourself to get out of bed now and then.  It doenst have to be a high impact career,  but just something.  That way you will have the opportunity to be with others, even if it is just talking shop, and not get in the habit of staying inside. 

6.  Never ever give up HOPE!  Healing is possible.   

Am I 100% healed.  We are a work in progress until the day we die.  Do I still cry?  not for my mother anymore.  I dont even miss her anymore.  That stopped a long time ago. And I love that she cant hurt me anymore, emotionally, etc.

But I still do miss my little sister.  Sometimes I think my brain has frozen her in time,  to that little child, and that early teen.   Once she hit 17 she had been brainwashed enough that she didnt want anything to do with me,(my mom was jealous of our relationship so she sure fixed that for me!).    Except for the estate planning, I dont really know the adult sister.  And I didnt exactly like her.  She was mean just like my gma, aunt and my mom.   But I sure miss that precious little girl. :)    Ahhh,  one more thing I should probably start to work on...as I said,,  always a work in progress :)

I will check in more often now and then.  I used to come here daily in the early days,  but havent been here in many months except for today.  Glad I stopped in.  Hope I was helpful.

love,
laurenE   

laurenE

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2013, 08:09:09 AM »
PS...

I too dont believe my mother is in heaven, even though she took me to church every week from the time I was 2 until I was 12 (then I went on my own with my little sister in tow).   Right after she died,  I did convince myself that she was there in heaven,  just b/c the grieving "child" that I was emotionally could not handle the idea of her in hell. 

Now that the years have passed,  the idea of her and I spending eternity in heaven together sickens me, and I would rather not go. If by some strange chance she is there, which I doubt b/c she never once apologized, changed her ways or acknowledged her sin, then I pray God does not allow us to see each other. 

I do realize that our simple human minds can not understand Gods mind,  b/c well, he is God and so much more complex than humans are.  And I do realize that God promises that justice will be server,  maybe not on this earth,  but in heaven or in His time. 

 I love this verse in 1 Corinthians 4: 5 "Judge nothing before the appointed time:  wait til the Lord comes.  He willl bring to light what is hidden in darkness (my mothers secrets!) and will expose the motives of mens hearts (her attention seeking behaviors and lies) At that time, each will receive praise from God"
(at that time God will reveal all of my family secrets and I will no longer be the liar. Everyone else will look like jerks).
I cant wait for that day!

Your mother sounds pretty mentally ill to me.  Once the grief subsides,  you will start to enjoy your emotional freedom from her cruelness.  And it is wonderfully freeing!

laurenE

Sara Ann

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2013, 07:39:03 AM »
Dear Lauren,

I am so moved by the generosity of your reply, really, by everyone's generosity here. I had just hoped that I wouldn't be blasted out of here for not having "normal" grief, whatever that is. Hearing from you and others is so much more than that.  I am so happy for you that you have persevered. She didn't kill you, in the end. She tried, but she did not succeed. Living well is the best response to the horror show of your childhood and you are doing it!

I'm reading what you wrote and thinking, these people truly are monsters. They should have been sequestered from society, and should not have been allowed to have children. The situation of being the child singled out for horrendous abuse makes it that much more painful and lonely. You described it so well -- it's not just the trauma itself, it's the fact that no one supports you and tries to help. It sounds like your dad tried at least sometimes to intervene, but he wasn't successful. No one was successful in protecting you, and I am so sorry for that. And I'm so sorry about your lost relationship with your sister. I have a rough path with my own sister...I have a lot of things to forgive. She tried to kill me more than once when we were kids. Now it's a Jeckyll and Hyde sort of situation...I never know when I see or talk to her if I'm going to get nice sister or mean sister. In my best moments, I have compassion for her and see that she is ill in ways that thankfully, I am not. It's a miracle from God that I'm able to get up each morning with the idea to try to have a good day.

I hear you about therapists. I don't know if I have the emotional resiliency to keep shopping. I'm pretty sure I don't. I felt so bad the last time. I had put a lot of money and effort and time in (I don't have health insurance, can't get it because I have cancer, so it's very expensive for me to try to get help), and I was finally starting to trust the person and do the work, and then it fell apart very prematurely for something that was not my fault, and not within my control. I was really wiped out when that happened. I still feel wiped out. I'm not sure I want to try again. The last experience was a wake-up call as to how much of what can happen in therapy is completely out of my control.

I hear you about the funeral. My mother stated explicitly in her will that she didn't want one. I felt when I read it that she was begging me to go ahead and give her a funeral, but I did not. I was thus spared from anyone showing up at a funeral and trying to tell me how good my mother was. I had enough of that in the aftermath of her death, even without a funeral. I finally thought to say, "I'm so glad you have good memories of her." Which was true. The fact that I couldn't add to those memories, or endorse them, I kept to myself. The suffering in silence sucks. The social demands of having your mother die when she was a bad person suck. I'm sure you agree.

One thing I've done with the small amount of money I received from my mother is to make sure I spend it on things she would never have approved. For instance, when we were children, she paid for art lessons for my sister, but not me (I had no talent, according to her), so now I go to art class every week (sometimes twice a week), and use her money for that. It's a rest for my mind, and now I have a whole bunch (7 at last count) of paintings I am getting frames for to hang. I have three more I am still working on/debating about/fixing. 

I don't know how one travels from a point of having internalized worthlessness to point B, wherever that is. Every time I want to do something good for myself I feel I am fighting my internal reality, the one burned into my soul by my mother, which is that I'm worthless.  Does that make sense to you?

You and I both endured the fruitlessness of trying to improve our relationships with our mothers. I don't know why someone who loved us didn't physically grab us and hold us back from doing that. It was a heartbreak every single time. It was never going to get better. You and I did a lot of the same things, trying to engage them, trying to give the really thoughtful gift, trying to anticipate their needs when they didn't give a flying you-know-what about ours. What is it about the human heart that makes it so hard to give up? It's as if we intuitively knew that we only get one mother, that our relationship with ours was so damaged, and that we could see the handwriting on the wall for our future ability to relate to others if we couldn't do something to fix the damage. Only, nothing was ever going to work with these people. It was banging our head against the wall, time and time again.

I'm trying to get to that first stage of grief that you so well describe, where I can admit to myself how incredibly painful it is to be here and without any hope at all of having a good mother, and be able to cry out about it. Because it hurts, not every day real bad, but a lot of days. You probably like me had to become very self-sufficient very early so there are a lot of things we now just do alone without thinking about the fact that we're doing it alone, and most people have parents who participate in those times of life. I'm thankful for you that you have a loving husband; it's someone to see the tears. I often wonder if my tears count for anything, because they are unseen. It's like the tree that falls silently in the forest. It's down, but does that matter?

I am struggling and one thing I can take from your post is that it's early on for me. I need to have some patience with myself and what this is. It could get better. If it doesn't, I'm in trouble.

Thank you again for your amazing kindness in posting back to me. I'm totally awed by your recovery. It's very inspiring.

Hugs from here,

Sara Ann

























laurenE

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2013, 09:25:18 AM »
Sara Ann,

I was so saddened to hear that you have cancer.  And frustrated.  Haven't you had enough to deal with, geez!  I am so very sorry!

You stated "
I don't know how one travels from a point of having internalized worthlessness to point B, wherever that is. Every time I want to do something good for myself I feel I am fighting my internal reality, the one burned into my soul by my mother, which is that I'm worthless.  Does that make sense to you?"

Yes, Sara Ann,  it does make sense to me.  Perfect sense.  I was there for so many years. Thankfully I moved on past that,  in large part, due to therapy. From it I learned to re-record those old tapes that played in my head,  those very same words that my mother spoke to me over and over again,  year after year,  until I truly believed them.  Particularly "you will never amount to anything".  Over time,  I learned to make that phrase my challenge in life,  to prove her wrong.  Although I never dared say these words out loud,  I said them many times in my head,  and in how I lived my life "I'll show you! I WILL be somebody someday!".    Little did I realize then,  that I already was.  I already was somebody.  God loved me, even though I was told no one else did.
And eventually I learned to love myself.

In therapy I learned that when we think about the words our mother said to us,  we picture a stop sign and say "STOP", either out loud or quietly to ourselves.  And then we distract our minds with something else.. a nice song, a chore,  calling a friend, reading webhealing.. :)  anything to stop the cycle of self abuse.  Over time, those words no longer come to me, and if they do, on a rare occasion,  I am quickly able to move on and not dwell.  Usually now, I will move on as I say something like "that sick B".    I am not going to let her hurt me anymore.

For me,  sometimes it helped to picture an old cassette tape player.  When my mothers words came to me,  I pictured hitting the stop button, then hitting  "record"  and then I recorded a new message over her painful one.  Something like "you are somebody.  You did make something out of yourself and life.  You ARE a good person".    Over time,  I no longer needed to do that anymore.  I stopped calling myself "stupid" and was able to quickly move past those "mother thoughts".    The B doesnt control me anymore.  Free at last,  free at last,  thank God almighty, I'm free at last :).

However, as I said before,  I do miss my sister.  But thats a situation where my sister allows my mother to control her,  and in return,  I get the side effects from it,  unfortunately, as I am convinced my mother brain washed my sister into hating me.  Our pastor once told me, after she had died, that my mother had some really bizzarr thoughts at times,  so who knows what was going on inside that mind of hers.   The way you described your sister,  she sounds so much like mine.  Jekyll and Hyde.  And even like my mother.   My mother never drank or took any medication.  She was just plain mean.
It saddens me to think our sisters are also like that.  Coming from my psych major background,  I am pretty certain both my sister and mom are/were bipolar.  The Jekyll/Hyde describes a typcial bipolar to a T,  in many cases.   But of course my mother never would have admitted that,  or asked for help.  She was fine and everyone around her was crazy at some point in her rants and irrational thougths.  Like you, I too am very thankful that I never got any of the illness.

By the grace of God I am sane.  Shouldnt be, after all that I endured,  but for some reason I am.  And so I will use my sanity and my experiences in the trenches to comfort others.   I wish I  could write a book. But I dont have the time to be the writer.  I need to find a ghost writer.  But thats for another day,  another year perhaps.

I love how you use your inheritance to take art classes. That is your way of saying "I will prove you wrong.  Watch me B!"  lol  I love that!  You go girl!!  I would love to see a picture of your work someday.   Plus it is good therapy.  The small amount that I received from selling her house went in the bank.  I figure it was payback from all the therapy sessions I had to pay for.  lol.   
I did have a bad experinece with a therapist as well,  but was able to find a pastoral counselor for free to see me for awhile.  I grew alot from him, and treasure the few months we had to work together.   I am curious as to what happened with you?  You can PM me if you dont feel comfortable telling me here.  Therapy isnt for everyone,  but it did wonders for me.  Plus I  did do alot of work outside my sessions by reading to understand myself or my situation better.  We cant change what we dont know,  so I was pretty active in reading and journaling what I read.   Healing is a ton of work,  but its been worth it for me.

Your grief is early.  Be gentle on yourself.  There is no hope of ever having a decent mother.  That was really a punch in the gut for me as well.  It took me quite awhile to get through that piece.  I did find comfort in connecting with someone around my mothers age, and befriending her. I also learned over a long time, to mother myself.  There is a child and parent in all of us.  Learning to allow that parent side of me to nurture me took practice. And by that I mean,  allowing myself to go to the spa, telling myself that I am a good person,  crying when I needed to cry and comforting myself in the process, comforting me and NOT so much OTHER PEOPLE, at least for awhile. I gave myself permission to take care of ME for once, to be self centered, which is not self centeredness at all,  and just started taking care of MEeeeeeeeee!   Its all about you Sara Ann.  Y O U.   Right now its all about YOU!  You spent so many years taking care of your mother.  Take some of that money and take care of you..go on vacation.  take those art classes,   go to the spa.  Kick up your heels and do what YOU want to do for once.  Find what makes YOU feel happy!  Its what will help heal you.  And its not selfish at all!  .  Thats the best part.   Its not selfish.  Its ok.  You deserve it.  Go for it girl. be healed.  :)

"I often wonder if my tears count for anything, because they are unseen. It's like the tree that falls silently in the forest. It's down, but does that matter?"

I absolutely loved how you put this.  Its one of the most deeply moving and beautiful sentences I have ever read. And I have felt that way too.

  I can remember driving in my car and hearing a song for the first time.  I had to pull over.    It is called "Praise you in this storm" by Casting Crowns. Google it on you tube.  The sentence that stopped me in my tracks was this one " and every tear I've cried,  YOU hold in YOur hand. You never left my side, and though my heart is torn,  I will praise you in this storm". 

From these words I was able to picture God with his arm around me as I sob at His feet,  and his hand catching my tears.  It is based off the verse about God knowing how many hairs on our head. And so now,  I use this visual every time I cry.  It brings me comfort, just like a mother should have when we cried as little girls.

I dont pretend to understand everything about God and why He didnt step in.  Maybe He did and I dont know it. Maybe she was really going to kill me, and He at least spared me my life, through the beatings.  Im not sure.   But I will certainly ask HIm when I get up there.    For now though,  I have to trust Him. When we dont understand, when we cant see His plan, When we cant trace his hand, trust His heart. 

Be good to you Sara Ann.  Be patient, and never ever give up HOPE.

love,
lauren E

laurenE

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Re: Different Kind of Grief...Mother I Never Had
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2013, 09:33:32 AM »
This one is a good one as well 
by Matt Redman  "Never Once"

 Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we've come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

... Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You've done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful...