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Where to go from here...


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Old 08-08-2011, 10:59 PM   #1
xena95
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Angry Where to go from here...

Am currently wondering what the point to life is if you keep finding yourself back in the same ugly emotional place you've been for most of your adult life.

I was officially diagnosed with depression in 1994, but I don't know when I actually started feeling depressed. I've been on so many meds, I don't even remember all their names. I've seen a handful of therapists, read countless self-help books. My latest attempt was hypnotherapy & meditation. For a few months, I thought it was working. But what fraction of happiness I had found went away and I'm back where I've been so many times.

I think I've finally come to the conclusion that I have spent my life surrounded by dysfunctional people. And in an attempt to make relationships work with these folks, I have made myself dysfunctional. So, the logical choice is to walk away from these people. However, that leaves me with basically no one close in my life.

My mother is the main, dysfunctional person I'm referring to. She was not raised in a happy home. Learned some very bad parenting habits from her angry mom, and then chose to carry them out on me. I've been yelled at and criticized for the slightest infractions so many times it's become common place for me to automatically assume I'm going to screw up in some way in whatever I do. Then there was the occasional hitting with resulting bruises too.

Even though I was able to graduate from Georgia Tech (barely, and not w/o having to drop out for a few months due to an emotional breakdown & suicide attempt), I've had countless jobs, been fired 5 times, never been married, haven't even had a boyfriend in 16 years, have no money, and currently unemployed for over a year. I look at my life and see a complete failure.

The day before school started my senior year, I was in a car accident that nearly killed me, I was 17. Afterwards, my mom did change and started treating me better. The week after I graduated HS, my mom moved out of the house and my parents' divorce was final a year later. Needless to say the relationship my parents had was NOT a good one. I got to witness more fights then I care to remember. A few years after the divorce, she met a guy from Parents w/o Partners and in less than a year he had moved in with her. I admit, from day one of meeting this guy, I have NEVER liked him. In the 20 years since, she has had to kick him out of her home 4 times for drinking, bailed him out of jail for DUI once, and watched him go to a hospital either to dry out or recover from other drinking related problems about 5-6 times.

Just this past January, I threw her a surprise 65th birthday party (only one she's had since she was 16). Not only was he not invited, I later learned from her that he couldn't have even attended if he knew about it b/c he was so drunk he literally could not leave his house. In fact, the previous day he had called her to ask if she'd bring him some food and toilet paper b/c he couldn't walk a block & half down the street to the grocery store. And of course, she enabled him AGAIN by bringing him the stuff.

I rent a cheap house that has a second unlivable house just a couple yards behind it that we use for storage which we refer to as "the shack". Since he was the one who originally started living in my house 6 years ago, he put his padlock on the shack. I took over renting the place when she bought a house and the 2 of them moved out. He kept a key to the lock and I had one here at my place that mom had access to since she still had keys to my house. But last March, since he had sobered up again, she wanted to use him and his pickup truck to move a couple pieces of furniture out of the shack. Since I'm the one paying rent for this property I felt justified in telling her she was welcome to come get her stuff, but I didn't want him on the property. She threw a hissy fit, saying I was being unreasonable. She planned to come over here with him in the evening after I left for night school to move the stuff out, but since I knew her plan, I replaced his lock with one of my own which led her to have an even bigger hissy fit. She said I was barring her from her stuff and threatened to call the police. In fact, she even went to my landlord asking him to sign a document stating she could remove my refrigerator, and washer & dryer (these were her machines that she left behind when she moved out 5 years ago). My landlord refused to sign so she broke down and started crying in front of him. She swore that there was absolutely NO ONE else she could call to help move her stuff. This is false b/c she belongs to a classic car club and recently one of the members even told me that she & her husband would have been happy to help out when this situation was going down. I even asked my mom at the time what would she have done if this alcoholic was drinking at the time she wanted to do this move... her response, "I would just have to wait". I told her how incredibly unhealthy it was to put her life on hold b/c the drunk was out of commission, but she never acknowledged that fact. She ended up renting a UHaul truck and hiring a couple of HIS neighbors to help her move all of their stuff out of the shack (of course, he was out in the street the whole time). I tried calling her 3 times in the following week and she never answered or returned my calls. So I stopped altogether.

About 3 months later, I had passed my first IT certification test and found myself crying b/c she had no knowledge of it. So I broke down and knocked on her door to let her know. When she saw me, she smiled so big and gave me a huge hug. Both of us hugged and cried for a long time. We talked for a couple hours then went out to eat. Naturally, she called him up to inform him of everything. Then when we pulled into the restaurant parking lot we see him leaving the place with take out. Next we witnessed him pull his pickup out of a spot and back into a truck behind him. It didn't do any damage, and mom claimed he wasn't drinking. But I couldn't believe the irony that for 3 months this idiot was out of my life, and the very day I see her again, he's back in my life. Later that evening, we tried to discuss what went down before but ended up in a fight again. I told her I'd like to see a therapist with her to work on our relationship but nothing ever came of that.

That was a month ago. During the past few weeks, we got together to eat or shop. I took her to see the last Harry Potter movie, but we never discussed him. I always had to make appointments with her which we never had to do before. Then I wanted to go over to her place to work on her computer but she informed me that he was there. This happened 4 times in one week. In fact, she even caught a cold from him since he had spent so many nights there. I have now learned that he is helping with the bills which means she's let him move back in for the FIFTH TIME!!!!!!! I informed her that after everything he has done, I refuse to be around him at all anymore. For 20 years I had this man forced upon my life w/o my consent. She always makes the statement that he is a good man, or he is a human being and she can't thrown him out of her life like trash. What she refuses to see is that a good man knows how to take care of himself and be happy with himself all by himself. And she also refuses to see that she deserves better than to live a life with some guy who is going to take her on a unfun roller coaster ride forever.

In her last email to me she stated, "If you cannot bear being around him then don't come here". How can a parent do this to her only child? I have asked her repeatedly to choose me instead of that drunk and she won't do it. How can some alcoholic man mean more to her than her kid? I'm friends with 3 older women, ages 50-60 something, all with grown kids and they all say the same thing... you DO NOT put a man ahead of your children. I thought the abuse my mom dished out when I was young was bad enough, but to witness her continuing to not care about my feelings today breaks my heart. I don't know what to do.

She is not a stupid person except when it comes to him. She says that she's only got about 15 more years to live and she doesn't want to live it alone. But she also refuses to start over with someone new and better. I admit I have not gone easy on her when it comes to this guy. All these years, I have made my feelings known very loudly, aggressively, angrily. Once I got so mad screaming at her she complained that my anger was scaring her and asked me, "Can you see yourself in the mirror?" I responded, "Yes Mom. You are looking at yourself from 30-some years ago. You're an adult scared of what you're seeing. Imagine being a kid and seeing it."

I apologize for this long, drawn out story. I've told this story verbally to several people and it hasn't helped me feel any better. If I'm not crying, then I'm basically numb inside. And any little thing can set off my anger so I stay in my room alone away from people. The last time I contacted her was an email response I sent last Thursday. I haven't seen or talked to her in over a week. And at this point, I plan never to see her again. I tried to tell her she has chosen poorly, but she doesn't care. And I am left wondering how in the world am I ever supposed to learn self worth myself. How do I teach myself what I don't even know? If your parents don't instill self-esteem in you as a child, then where does it comes from when you become an adult? I'm like the blind leading the blind.

Thanks for reading if you've made it this far.
xena95

 
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:51 AM   #2
Larrylou'smom
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Re: Where to go from here...

(((hugs))) to you xena. I'm so sorry your mom has made the choices she's made. The hardest thing is to have only your family to rely on and they are not there for you. These are a lot of big issues to deal with. I'm wondering if seeking more therapy is something you are in a position to do? I don't think you should give up on it just yet.

Your mom is just one person. She is who she is and she's made her choices, and you can't unmake them for her. But the world is full of other people who will not treat you the way your mom does. Like the older ladies you know. You got a raw deal in the parent department, no doubt, but it's really up to you to decide whether or not that will affect the rest of your life. You can learn to re-parent yourself, and rise above the poor treatment from your mom. Therapy is a good place to start. Hang in there. I wish you all the luck in the world.

 
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:29 PM   #3
xena95
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Re: Where to go from here...

Thank you, Larrylou'smom. I have been considering going back to a therapist I saw a while back. Hopefully I can fit the cost into my unemployment budget.

I've never thought that I got a raw deal in the parent department. The 3 of us were a fairly reclusive family when I was growing up, so I didn't have the opportunity to witness other parents very much. But I've learned that good parenting is a foreign concept to me, I probably wouldn't even recognize it if I saw it.

Thanks again,
xena95

 
Old 08-11-2011, 07:10 AM   #4
Will I Be Happy
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Re: Where to go from here...

Xena, you are not alone. I've gone to therapy for years regarding so many issues. Each therapist has brought me to a new level. Some good...some awful. My current therapist is great. We all want a great therapist, right? Yet I'm terrified at the same time b/c I've realized my family is the center of all my issues as well. So now that I've realized my issues all stem from that, I have to do something about it. As much as I want change, it's much easier (in a strange way) to keep things the way they are, b/c I don't want to lose my family. I'm going to post my own recent findings. Maybe that will help you to see you aren't alone. Feel free to respond and ask me any other family questions. I realized I wrote so much in my posting, yet I feel so much is missing. I wish us both luck!

 
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