Growing, Learning, and Enjoying Every Part Of It.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pretender

My therapist called me a master pretender today. And then she saw the look on my face, and told me in her no nonsense way that she meant what she said and that someone should have told me that long before now.
 
We were having a conversation about my mother.  I know, I know...it's so cliche, and on many levels, in my mind,  pathetic to talk about my mother issues in therapy. But, in order to not to become her and to stop resenting her, it is what I need to do.  I told her that I've gotten to a point where I can be tough on my mother when she starts verbally beating me up for not being the kind of daughter she thinks I should be, and when she lays on the guilt trips.  However, I told her that afterward, I feel bad and start to doubt myself.  I wonder if I am in fact a bad daughter and whether or not I'm "honoring" her.  She asked why is it that I can stand up for myself to her in conversation, but then start to doubt when the conversation is over.  I told her I don't know because during the conversations with my mother I truly mean every word of what I'm saying, but afterward her words make me feel bad.  She told me I had mastered the art of pretending and that I have become a master pretender.
 
I hated hearing that because I equate pretending to being fake, and no one wants to believe they are fake, especially not with someone you've known all of your life.
 
We discussed my "pretending" ways with my mother and the topic of emotional blackmail.  I've always called the latter guilt trips, but she gave it a real name and definition. The hardwork of being okay with not playing her games or being held hostage emotionally has begun. And, the even harder part of owning what I feel and believe and not letting someone make me feel bad about it has also begun.  My homework is to write my mother a PPF letter (that stands for past, present and future) about our relationship and my feelings.  I declare that 2013 will be a year of clarity in my relationship with my mother...one of forgivenss, healing, and redefinition (with boundaries).
 
 
~ Blissfully Yours

3 comments:

Ginae said...

dang, i need to be joining you in these sessions..i have the same type of issues with my mother and practice the same behavior at times.

i've just recently starting learning how to not let what she says dictate my every emotion and to not feel bad afterwards. now instead of feeling bad for days on end or longer, I do not let it affect me as long..hope I'm not pretending! LOL!

no but seriously it has been a work in progress for me. i'm getting better and better with setbacks and regression thrown in there every now and then. however i've been working on this for a long while now and can see progress being made. just last nite I had a convo with her that normally would have left me feeling some kind of way and angry. however i did very well and did not let her get to me. yay me! i have found that thinking about how she is and what she might do and say ahead of time and thinking about what I want to say and how I want to act in response has really helped me out. usually she springs something on me and I'm not prepared and react out of the surprise of it all. now its not an attack because I have time to remind myself how she is and how I want to react to it.

a therapist might help me further this along..sorry I wrote a book.

good luck on your journey. i'm sure you will get there.

Sunny said...

Maybe it's a mother/daughter thing. As I too could relate very well to the "pretending". :( I don't have to deal with guilt trips but the relationship is dysfunctional all the same.
Maybe I too should see a therapist.

ShellyShell said...

Uhhh. I've been down this road. The only difference is that I don't feel guilty about anything I say to her. She pops off at the mouth and I say my two cents back and I'm the bad guy. She goes and tells my brothers that I said this and this. My mom always wants to throw in your face how much she has given me. From paying for school to buying my first car to how much a gift cost. My response to her everytime is then don't do it. Ahhhh. It's a lot! I wish you well!