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Re: Was I There for Them?

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:17 pm
by Banana

Oh hummingbird, I feel the pain in your words and it breaks my heart. I love you so very much and I hate that you are hurting. I wish I could take your pain away, that I could hold you and comfort you as you need.

Flashbacks are awful. I have plenty of them myself, so I do understand. When they happen, you are right back there when the trauma happened, with the same feelings and emotions. It makes the primitive part of our brain kick in - the same part of the brain that is responsible for fight, flight, or freeze. My T has explained to me that flashbacks happen when the mind wants us to focus on something that has been ignored, that hasn't been processed properly. Personally, I think that flashbacks are even worse at night. There's something about the darkness that makes them seem even worse to me.

hummingbird, it is easy for me to say that you are a good mum but so much harder for you to believe me, and that's ok. There are lots of reasons why it is easy for me to say that you are a good mum.

You care enough to question whether you are being a good mum or not. If you were as terrible a mum as you are thinking, there is no way you would be asking these questions. You wouldn't voice these fears, maybe you wouldn't even have them. In asking these questions and giving voice to your fears, doubts, worries, you are putting your children's welfare ahead of your own.

Your children have learned and grown and matured into wonderful, independent young adults. That alone is a massive sign that you are a good mum. You say that they both have good jobs and stable lives. If you had been a bad mum to them, I really don't think you would be able to say that about your children. Don't get me wrong, people can survive truly awful things but there would be cracks, there would be some evidence in your children's lives if you hadn't been a good mum.

Both of your children are married. This is huge! If you hadn't been a good mum to them, do you really think they would be able to trust enough to marry someone? Sure, people get married and have trust issues but those marriages are rocky and have lots of issues. Your children are married to people who really love them. Your children are able to trust and be open and that means that they can be vulnerable. They are sharing their lives with someone who sees them at the best and worst of times. I really don't think they would be like this if you hadn't been a good mum.

You have grandchildren, which is something else that points to you being a good mum. Having children is a wonderful gift but is also very hard work, as I'm sure you know. This tells me that your children feel able to give of themselves, to shape your grandchildren's lives and are able to love, nurture and care for their own children. You also get to spend time with your grandchildren and are trusted enough to look after them. No good parent would leave their child/children with someone they didn't trust. Your children clearly don't think that you have been a bad mum to them because if they did, they wouldn't leave their children with you.

It seems to me that it is in your character to be loving and caring. The words you leave on people's threads, including mine, are so kind and thoughtful and loving. So often the words you write to me really touch me, really reach right into my heart. If you can be this kind and loving towards me, and others here, then I have no doubt whatsoever that you have been a good mum - kind, caring, loving, thoughtful, considerate - to your children.

hummingbird, I have given you those reasons before but I wanted to say them again, and in more detail, because I meant them when I first wrote them and I still do. They are all true, every single one. I know it is so much easier for me to sit here saying that you are a good mum and so so much harder for you to believe it. Take me, then, as an example. You tell me that I am loving and caring and a good friend but I didn't experience kindness or love as a child. I, too, was born with a deficit. I wasn't wanted from before I was born and told by my father more times than I care to remember that he wished I was dead. My heart recognises those words, that I'm no damn good and would never amount to anything, because those words were said to me too, and my mother never corrected him. I have never been held or comforted, rocked or told "I love you". Yet, you tell me that I am loving and caring, that I am a good friend to you, that my words comfort you. I am not trying to shift the focus on to me but I want you to see that it is absolutely possible for someone to have been through what we have been through, with no love or caring when we were children, but still be able to loving and caring towards others.

You want me to help you find some good in all this. You want me to help you find a way of making it up to your children. My dear friend, I can't help you make it up to your children because I don't believe you need to do that. I truly believe with all my heart that you have been and are a good mum. You are so right. It really isn't fair that you parents treated you so badly. You deserved so much more. You deserved to be loved and cared for and cherished and nurtured. I can see good in all this, I really can. I see you. You are the good in this situation. The very thought of you having been a bad mum to your children breaks your heart. There's no way you have been a bad mum. You are good, kind, loving, caring, thoughtful.

Please hang in there, hummingbird. I know that voice, the one that says that there's no point and that I should just give up. You don't have to listen to the voice ever. My T told me something yesterday that really helped and I want to share it with you in case it helps you. She said that I have these voices in my head, messages that have been put in my head, telling me to do certain things or making me believe certain things about myself. She said that it's a bit like a light on a dimmer switch. She explained that, with her help, I need to learn to turn down the voices, to make them dimmer and dimmer, and that eventually I will barely be able to hear them or not even at all. It's the same for you, hummingbird. You can turn down the voice. I wish I could tell you how but I don't know yet. My T is starting some work with a few of my parts on turning down the voice that tells them to punish. She shared with me what she had explained to them.

hummingbird, I'm here, holding out a hand for you to hold on to. You are not alone and you ARE good.

Sending you many safe gentle hugs.
Love you loads

Re: Was I There for Them?

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:19 pm
by hummingbird
Wow! Thank you, banana, for your incredibly thoughtful and kind response to my thread. Thank you for giving of yourself and your time at a time when you're in great pain yourself! I appreciate you so much! Much love to you today and every blessing.

So tired today and in so much pain. Cannot stop crying. Sun is finally out here after many days of cold and grey. So grateful for the sunshine and cloudless blue sky.

So grateful for your support, banana, and your love and kindness.

Re: Was I There for Them?

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:32 pm
by recover
i wrote on your other thread but just now saw this...

hummingbird my dearest...your children would not be who they are today if you hadn't mothered them in a "good enough" manner. "good enough" is a psychological term coined by DW Winnicott a wonderful pediatrician/psychologist. i like the term. we are not perfect parents and we do not need to be, and as survivors it is even harder to raise children. like me, you may have failed them in some ways as i know i have with my kids, but THEY ARE LOVED. the fact they have loving spouses and children speaks for itself dear.

i do think you DESERVE the caring of a competent therapist. i don't want to be intrusive in any way, but there are T's out there who could care for and support you. it might be worth a thought. my T is far from perfect but having him in my life is invaluable.

gotta run, but please please be loving to you. as i said on your other thread, the little girl in you needs you now, more than your own kids.
much love and caring,

Re: Was I There for Them?

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:05 pm
by hummingbird
Thank you, recover, for your validating, supportive and kind thoughts and words. I appreciate you so much! I appreciate your thoughts about me finding a therapist. I'm turning toward that option, cautiously, as a possibility.

I feel like I truly receive unconditional love from you, recover, and the others I've "met" here at isurvive. And I can give that unconditional love to myself.

Re: Was I There for Them?

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:05 am
by honeybera
Hi hummingbird...

Wow, all the pain you are feeling! I hope you are past some of that at least.

I can't say what is going to happen to you, how long you will feel these feelings, or anything else about your experience, but what I can say is that much of this (in one way or another) exactly mirrors my own experiences, and I feel a deep empathy with you.

It does get better. I know how long and tedious it was with all my crying and even my rage, but I can tell you that Mommy Dearest and her shenanigans NO LONGER MAKE ME CRY! Oh, they used to!! OMG, the worst was when I was driving and had passengers and I'd burst out bawling. I finally had to get "permission" from my T. who said, "Cry until you're finished. Even at work!". I discussed this with her just to get past the guilt of crying my eyes out in front of strangers who had no idea what was going on with me. When I asked my T. in desperation (feeling very much as you described), "How long will this last??!!", she quietly said, "Until..."

And she was right! (As usual! ;) ) It lasted until my tears dried up. And then much of the pain was gone. Long ago, it was very difficult for my little one to "STOP THAT CRYING!!!!", especially after having been brutalized in so many ways, but the adult tears were needed (oh, SO needed!!) to flush away the ancient pain.

Also, when I was feeling suicidal, what saved me was the old saying that was given to me: "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." I am eternally grateful that I didn't do what I really felt like doing (at the time).

Apparently, you have been a very good mother: your grown children appreciate you and have marriages and happy children of their own. You've done well. The proof is in the pudding. Still, I'm hearing the sadness, shame, guilt, and pain right on top of it, though. Nobody's perfect. God knows, I wasn't! Only now, having read some in this topic, am I getting an even deeper understanding of how this puzzle goes together. I'm just glad that I have finally released those bitter tears of antiquity and tried a good dose of self-forgiveness instead of the self-loathing that I used to feel when confronting what it was that actually was done to me. Repeatedly!

Oh, hummingbird, I so wish I could pull up a chair for you right here by my "magic window". It was supposed to rain today, but it didn't. Before the rains came and to avoid the muck caused in the bird feeders by the rain (mold, and lots of it), I threw out all the wild bird seed all over the ground and brought the feeder trays inside. It's funny how you do one thing and get a totally unexpected result! They apparently enjoy the seed just thrown down on the ground much better! Who knew? I must have 20-30 birds out there, all eating the seed and drinking at my newly supplied "birdbath/dog dish", an old throwaway that I saved and filled with water. They adore it, so it stays. It's on a small table right next to my window where I can see them so closely! :mrgreen:

They've also developed a "dusting area" over by the newly planted Pineapple Salvia (aka "Hummingbird Highway")! Of course, it is still looking a bit spindly, but later this summer it should be well on its way! I'm going to go over to "Obi Wan" and finish up my description. But you are my favorite hummingbird of all! Hang in there, Kiddo! And it needn't take just takes a lot of tenacity, and probably a river of tears, but it can free you! It sure did help me.


Honeybera :mrgreen:

Re: Was I There for Them?

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:16 pm
by hummingbird
I just went back and read over this thread, and I'm so touched by all the support and kindness given to me here by you all. So much gratitude and love to you all!

Thank you for sharing yourself with me and for your generous heart, support and encouragement. I so needed to hear about you getting through the pain and grief. You've renewed my hope again. Much love to you.

Re: Was I There for Them?

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:22 am
by recover
and love to you too.

Re: Was I There for Them?

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:46 am
by hummingbird
and so much love to you, recover! Thank you for all the support and warm kindness that you've given me.