Thursday, December 13, 2007

What to Do About Mothers?

All of us who are victims of abuse have issues with out mothers. Some are in denial about the situation but have issues none the less. I thought it was interesting as I was listening to Dr Laura on our local radio station and the subject of mothers came up.

The caller had been molested by her step-father as a child. While the mother had divorced the man, she had chosen to keep his name despite the victim's protestations. This victim was currently considering severing contact with her mother and asking Dr Laura if she thought that was appropriate.

I have to say I don't usually listen to Dr Laura, my husband does, but I don't really like her attitude. She comes across to me as short m abrupt, uncaring sometimes. Maybe because of my own history of having detached from my family of origin, I was actually kind of interested in hearing her response to this victim.

I don't know what I expected for sure, but I can tell you I was surprised to hear her say that she thought it was not only wise but mature. She said something else that really struck me. Most adults are so desperate for some kind of parental approval that they cannot bring themselves to separate from parental relationships that are obviously destructive.

While these words may not be an exact quote, I'm telling you they are darn close! Here on this nationally broadcast radio show was a therapist actually telling someone that to pull away was actually MATURE! What struck me about this was all the woman had told her was that her mother continued to use the name of her offender because it was good for her business.

That one statement was enough for Dr Laura to know that this mother was not interested in what was best for her child. She was interested in what was best for her business.

I immediately thought of all of the victims whose blogs I read that are struggling with guilt because they want to or have separated from their mother or others in their families of origin. I thought about all of the different things that have happened to those victims, and yet they still struggle with guilt for leaving that past behind them.

Is it as cut and dried as Dr Laura suggests? If contact with our family of origin continually causes pain, is it ok to just walk away? I believe it is! And I have to say that Dr Laura took a step up in my book. However, I know that this just isn't as easily done as all of that but maybe by putting it into the perspective of Dr Laura, it might just get a bit easier. I kinda like my decision being called mature!


jumpinginpuddles said...

we have a dead mother and a sister we have had to seperate from in horrible circumstances and a birht mother who is seeking reuniting.
in all we are gateful our motehr is not ehre anymore becasue we would ahfve psent time not getting to know people around us in search of her approval, we are sad our sister and us are such a mess but we apprecaite the support we get from cuh a decison and we are acknowledging with intesrewst our birth mother as she seeks ot get to know us.
relationship isa choice some choices are hard but freeing once done

Kahless said...

I like my decision being called mature too!

Lynn said...

Yes it IS absolutely okay to walk away. If someone doesn't love you, then they just don't love you. Hanging around won't change it. I don't feel guilty. I feel relieved. When I lived as my mother's neighbor (yes -- the same freakin' street!) my life was a nightmare in hell because that woman wanted nothing less than to suck the life right out of me. She was relentless.

Kahless said...

I have a question / clarification I am hoping you can help me with; if you think it would offend anyone then please do not publish, as the last thing I want to do is offend.

It is on a topic different from your post.

Now I think as human beings, we all have dark and lighter sides. Maybe the range between the two may vary by person and regardless of whether you are a multiple or singleton.

Now I have been pondering the difference between multiples and singletons. Now singletons would have this range contained within one personality and their choice is how it is expressed in them. ie they might use the lighter side to balance and quash darker thoughts. Yet within a multiple, different alters may not necessary have this same range because they may be one aspect of personality on the range?

Am I making sense. Have been wanting to ask that question. It is inquisitive rather than meant to be offensive. Cos I think you have good singletons and good multiples. You have not good singletons and not good multiples.
But different alters within a system may be so much gooder than a singleton may ever be and different alters more darker????

As I said, I just want to understand this so delete if offensive as I dont want to be.

Cheesemeister said...

It depends on the situation. My family is dysfunctional but my parents never sexually abused me. (It was my mother's brother-in-law that was responsible for that and he is deceased now.) They are very controlling and sometimes I have to go without having contact for a while but I've never completely cut myself off from them. But there is a distance that needs to be maintained.
I cringe to admit it, but I think Dr. Laura was right in this case. Doesn't mean I like her in general though. Queer Duck and I can't stand her in fact! ;0)

Cheesemeister said...

I don't think I've ever given you the address to my psych blog. It's
I don't have it on my blog roll because there was a troll that was making my life miserable for a while and I needed to protect myself. But I'd like you to have it.

Fallen Angels said...

I have been unable to cut all ties...but I am close to it. My mother lives far out on Long Island and I live very near the coast of Cal...only way to get further away would be to move to Hawaii (which I would LOVE to do for other reasons but can't afford it!). I don't call her and I don't answer my phone if it's her number...except on very specific days when I know she will call and call until I answer (xmas being one example). On those days I am never alone (at minimum, partner is with me) and I also know she is not alone either and will be handing the phone off to someone else shortly. She has come to visit on her own and that was very hard and stressful but it has been a few years since she has done that and at this time, I don't honestly think my father would allow her to travel alone...her health is too poor (a lot of which is her own doing...karma I say). When she came here last year (with my father) they stayed in a hotel and she had trouble with my stairs so spent most of her time at my brothers downstairs apartment as opposed to my upstairs apartment...I felt bad for him, but we talked later and he agreed that his issues with her are different from mine and he was never exposed to her c*lt activities either, so this worked out ok. Anyway...this is a long, convoluted way of saying that while I haven't actually cut ties, I'm about as close as one can get to that without actually doing it!


Rising Rainbow said...

jip, I agree making the choice to break off such relationships can be very difficult but a relief once they have been made.

kahless,yes, I really apprciated the use of the term mature instead of the usual family one of selfish!

lynn, I definitely feel relieved over my decision as well. Life is so much easier without those complicated relationships.

kahless, I don't find this offensive. I think I've addressed some of this in other posts but will try to answer as best I can.

cheesemeister, abuse to me doesn't just mean sexual abuse. There are many forms of abuse that cause very real damage. I think that it is actually harder for victims to grasp that they have been hurt when the damage is psychological and not physical and for many that kind of healing is much more difficult.

I believe that dysfunction sets children up to be victims. So while your offender may not have lived under your roof, I think you wouldn't have been a victim if you hadn't already been groomed by the family dysfunction.

fallen angels, cutting ties take time. We all do it in our own time. When the time is right for you, I"m sure you'll get it done.

NVRider said...

I have a question about mothers and families that has been rattlig around in my head for a while, I hope it's okay to ask.

Maybe it's more about cycles of abuse. I understand that most abusers have been abused themselves in the past. And in the case of ritual abuse, many(all?) parents have been abused/indoctrinated/programmed as children themselves.

Why do some people break free, while some never do? What is it about the people that escape the progamming and do not go on to abuse their own children that is different from the majority? Is it something in the people themselves? Or a breakdown in the abuse programming process?

I hope I'm being clear. I've been wondering why some people can separate themselves from the cycle of abuse, but others go on to torture their own children.

Pioneering in PA said...

Just dropped by your blog, you posted a comment on mine and I like to see what kind of people are looking at my blog. Although I have a *fairly* stable extended family, issues of abuse have never been a factor. I can honestly say that my parents never physically, mentally, or sexually abused me. Not quite sure where my own depression stems from, but I have had it all under control for nearly 4 years without any sort of medication, and I don't have a single day half as bad as I did when I was medicated. Once again, thanks for dropping by and reading my blog, it DOES mean a lot!

Rising Rainbow said...

nvrider, I think I'll answer your questions in a post. I think I'll do a better job that way.

pioneering in pa, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you're no longer struggling with depression. It is such a bad place to be.

April_optimist said...

Interesting. I know it was a choice I had to make. Glad to know Dr. Laura can see it as a wise choice in the right situations.

Marj aka Thriver said...

I cut ties with my father when I was still in high school. I don't know how I got up the courage to do it. I think a part came out and performed the task! I told him never to contact me until he had established a track record of healing and recovery with a qualified therapist. He has contacted every "family" member over the years but me. (Funny that he would actually respect this.)

My mother was the one I tried for years to gain approval from. It was never going to happen. The woman does not respect me. She does not respect my boundaries. I finally cut ties with her several years ago. She has never met her grandchild. It's not safe, so it isn't happening.

Both of these decisions have been very difficult, but also very freeing for me. Now, I hear they were "mature." Alright! :)

Redneck Geologist said...

Thank you for this post! I know it is dated but I just read it today. I feel validated.