Sunday, April 6, 2008

More on Confrontations

I have posted about confrontation and the difficulty that victims have in standing up for themselves. I even posted some about how terrified I was of my mother and how immobilized I could be in her presence. Now I'm going to post about the times I have confronted her.

The first time was not long into my therapy. I was still working on the issues of being molested by my brother. I hadn't planned confronting my mother, in fact the opposite was true, I was still in that place that I really didn't want to upset my mother. All I really wanted was to heal and get free from the depression that plagued me. I had no idea of the repercussions to the family.

My mother came by and asked me to go for a ride with her. I should have known then that something was up. I can't recall a time in my life when my mother ever wanted to "talk" with me, let alone do it going for a ride. It caught me off guard without time to think so I agreed.

Once we had gotten moving down the road, my mother began to make it clear that she was not happy that I was delving into my past. While she was willing to admit that I was molested by my brother she didn't want anyone else in the family to know particularly my step-father.

Since my step-father already didn't care much for my older brother, my mother knew that this information would cause problems. She was adamant that I not rock the boat but that's not all she wanted. She wanted me to quit going to therapy altogether. She said it was only causing problems for our family and she ordered me to stop.

I tried to explain to her why I needed therapy but she wasn't listening. As far as she was concerned, I should just buck up and and put the past behind me. The more she talked the more agitated I got. I knew I needed therapy. It was life or death to me and I kept trying to explain but she just would not listen. Things were escalating and my fear level was rising exponentially.

I felt trapped. Riding in her car moving down the streets of our neighborhood, I thought if I didn't get away from her I would not survive. I tried again to stand my ground and convince her that I needed therapy that my very life depended on it but she kept insisting that I must do as she said.
For the first time in my life I was trying to stand up to my mother and it wasn't going well. Those old feelings that I would die if I stood up to her grabbed me by the throat I swear. I felt like I was suffocating and had to force words out of my mouth. I knew if I didn't get away from her that I would give in and then I would be dead. I had to escape.

As I opened the car door, I choked hysterically to my mother that I could not and would not do it her way. Then I stepped out of the moving car. My foot hit the ground and threw me into a tumble that I couldn't control. I rolled head over heals, I don't know how many times before I stopped.

By this time my mother had stopped the car and gotten out. She was trying to come towards me. I got up sobbing hysterically and ran off down the road towards my house screaming at her to leave me alone. I stumbled several times as I ran towards home but managed to get to my feet and keep on running despite my injuries. I couldn't take any chances of her catching up with me. I didn't stop until I crashed through the front door and into the open arms of my husband.

He had heard the commotion of my hysteria and had come to see what was going on. He arrived at the door just as I broke through it sobbing "Keep her away from me!." My mother was directly behind me wanting to follow me in but Dave pulled me behind him and told her to go away even when he had no idea what had transpired. For the first time in my life I was protected from her.

As my mother left, she said that she would tell my step father that my brother had molested me. That was the first time in my life that my mother did something that I wanted but she didn't. I still don't understand why she did. It was the only time it ever happened and is one of those things that doesn't fit with the rest of her behavior. I'll always wonder why she did.

I probably suffered a concussion from the fall. I had trouble seeing and my head was spinning. I also had multiple lacerations and contusions. I wouldn't go to the doctor because I was afraid they would lock me up for having jumped out of a moving car. I knew it sounded like a crazy thing to do, but it hadn't been crazy, jumping for my life was not crazy, but I doubted that anyone would understand how my life was at risk. But I knew, if I had stayed in that car I would have done what she said, I would have quit therapy and I would not have survived the depths of my depression.

While I'll admit this isn't the best way for a confrontation to go, it certainly made a big change in my life. The message travelled throughout my system that I could stand up to her and survive. I think that this one act is what allowed the abuse I had suffered at the hands of my mother to surface.


kïrstin said...

thanks for stopping by so often :)
i appreciate your comments more than it may appear. my time management has been out of kilter for a while now, but thats about to change.

i know something about this kind of confrontation. my arena of abuse was not my family, so its different in many ways. but i have had my moments of standing up. it takes courage, whatever arena it takes place in.

perhaps your mother did what she did that time because you scared her. maybe it was an attempt to take control of the inevitable, since she couldnt stop it from happening.

Kahless said...

Wow. You were really brave. Interesting, I need to rethink my self imposed definition of confrontation. I will come back later and explain.

Kahless said...

I am too exhausted to attempt to explain what I was thinking earlier.

It has just occured to me I guess that confrontation = standing up for yourself and your boundaries and expressing (against resistance) your wants.

As I said earlier, I am stilled 'wow' by this important step it seems in standing up for yourself. It doesnt matter that you needed help. I guess that is what I meant earlier. I have seen it as weak on my own part in needing help to confront. But I dont see you as weak. I see you as strong. So I should apply that to myself.

Oh my tiredness is rambling.

I did well today. I stood up for myself. I emailed my sister. And also I expressed anger today!!! (Not in the letter though I was short and to the point.)

Enola said...

Way to go. I'm glad you learned that you could stand up for yourself AND that you had a husband to stand up for you.

Rising Rainbow said...

kirstin, I totally agree with you. It doesn't have to be about parents or family abuse, it is about not being a doormat and making our needs known especially when others don't want to hear or understand. Standing up for ourselves is very important to our self-esteem.

I think you maybe be right about my mother's motives. It's just not likely she did it for me. Damage control sounds much more like her MO.

kahless, I had to think about it too when I did this post. lol

I don't see you as weak either. I don't think it matters if we need help or not, what matters is that we learn to do stand up for ourselves and what we believe in.

I'm glad that you were able to email your sister. I hope it goes the way that you hope.

enola, thanks, it really surprised me how much it changed my life.

Cheesemeister said...

This sounds (sans moving car) like the shite I went through with my parents when I moved out of their house. My ex husband did try to help, but to be honest, he was a mess too.
When I was younger I thought that by confronting my parents I could fix things but at this point I just don't even want to try. I only end up feeling like beating my head against a wall until bloody because they are so damn obtuse, and so convinced that they are right. I'd rather just keep the peace. I'm not sure whether this is the right thing or the wrong thing, but at this point it seems the only thing.

jumpinginpuddles said...

wow thats a powerfully inspirational story, we are so glad someone held you after that saying ti wasnt ok what she had done.
We also are in a place now where we ahve to confront something with someone im afraid the most we can do are texts making excuses why we cant talk not a great start to it hey :P

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

Awesome story...I was almost cheering for you while reading it! I have told you this many times but you are one brave and strong woman!!!! I am so glad that you continued with your therapy and learned the things that you had to learn to have a "normal" and happy life!

Rising Rainbow said...

cheesemeister, I'm glad you got some support even if it was effective. It sure helps to have someone on your side.

jip, you will get to it when you are ready. The important part is getting there.

frazzled farm wife, thank you for your continued support. It is greatly appreciated.

Biddie said...

Wow. Your post almost brought me to tears.
I am completely estranged from my mother. I was abused by her, and molested by her husband from the time that I was about 2 until I was 15. (He was our next door neighbour when I was small, not my step father then) Thank goodness I lived with my Dad for most of my childhood.
My mum is still with her husband, 'Stan' STILL. She knows what happened. She has admitted this to me. Yet, I am branded a liar and a trouble maker. I am nearly 39 years old. I have no reason to lie.
I have been dealing with mental illness my whole life. Mine, and my mums, which she denies....
Anyway, thanks for stopping by my blog. I will be back.
(Lucky is my sister. She was put up for adoption and was raised in a wonderful family. I only found her 6 years ago. THAT'S why we call her lucky)

Rising Rainbow said...

Biddie, thanks for stopping by. I'm sorry you had to deal with an abusive famly. I can understand why you call you sister Lucky. Makes perfect sense to me.

Dogberry said...

I know how it feels to be scared to stand up to people, confrontation is not easy but once we start we grow and it does get easier....