Buried in Sadness

I spent most of today buried in overwhelming sadness. Feeling mournful. I did talk to my Mom (turns out she is talking to me) briefly, but there’s this barrier because neither one of us bring up my brother and she sounds so fake. Like she’s checking off the Mom boxes of keeping in contact with a child. 

I went through feeling like this last year and honestly I’m not really up for doing it again. 

It’s that feeling of being incredibly alone and not belonging. Even though there was dysfunction there, I was a crucial part of it. And now, I’m being shunned by my brother, my Mom has previously made it no secret she takes his side, and my Dad is doing whatever it is he does when things get difficult. Disappearing act. He is signing his messages L, First Name. No Love. No Dad. 

I don’t feel needed in my role as daughter, or sister. And despite the dysfunction so much of my identity is tied up in that. I honestly have no idea who I am without them or that dysfunctional way of thinking.

I thought I found a solution that worked for everyone after he said he wasn’t even coming and didn’t speak to me for 7 months. He threatened to keep my niece away from me forever. He wrote and said horrible things about me. Him and my Mom used my dead grandmother and best friend against me… “what would she think about this.” He was lucky to even be the emcee (if I remember correctly he begged me while crying after refusing to speak to me for 7 months) and now he’s throwing a fit because he wasn’t a groomsman. And now all I can feel when I think about the wedding they forced me to have in MO is sadness. I’m just so angry and sad and… mournful. 

I was naive enough to believe everything was ok when they were all wonderful to my face. I’ve already done this. I’ve already grieved this loss last time they stopped talking to me. I can’t do the back and forth. I can’t take being punished by the silent treatment every time they don’t like a decision I’ve made.

And people keep saying (husband and close friends) to let it roll off me, that the more I think about it the more power I give to him. And yes, that’s true, but this family unit was the center of who I was for so long… it isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to simply let it go.

I feel abandoned. And this is not the first time I have felt that way. This acute sense of loss. I feel like a part of me has died. 

This morning I realized I’m no longer financially dependent on my parents. I managed to untangle myself from that system, post wedding I don’t need them, I’m not reliant on them… and I’ve removed them as co-signers for things and my husband has replaced them. I apparently now owe my Mom $1000 for something she volunteered to take on (“I thought his family would offer to pay for it!”) so I will find that $1000, and give it to her, and then try to recover my bruised finances. 

The only real upset there is that I now can only afford A once a week. I reluctantly (very reluctantly and while crying) canceled additional sessions with her tonight via email. I simply can’t. I have to reserve extra money now, build an emergency nest. It also means I can’t stop working at my small business and have to make a minimum of $1400 in additional income each month, but that’s doable. And it’s extra incentive that the first thing to go if I don’t make that money is my appointments with A.

My husband helped me budget tonight. At least I have him. I have the family that is us… but god it hurts so much to feel so abandoned. And I’m not sure if I’m sad for current me who is repeating this pattern again… who tried so hard to disengage last time. Or if I’m sad for little me who is just wondering what she’s done wrong, and why all that effort was put in in the first place. Or both.

It’s become clear to me that the ‘love’ from my family is conditional on my behaviour… their approval and affection is conditional on me doing things their way. It’s why I’m suddenly now getting no monetary support for therapy (my parents contribute $1000 to my brother every month for that purpose and pay for him to chase his music dream). I’ve been cut off, for misbehaving.

I try not to be resentful, it feels ungrateful. But when something is so blatantly unequal because “you can handle it. You’re older. You don’t need therapy. I’ve just paid for most of your wedding (nobody asked you to do that!)” it’s really hard to not feel second best right now.

It’s really hard to feel anything but incredibly sad.

I’m coming to terms with the fact that I am alone in this, after I spent years trying to do my best to care for them, sometimes literally (as in making my Mom food and taking my brother to school because she wouldn’t get out of bed and my Dad had disappeared) as a child. And it was all for brownie points and praise that only exists when I fit into this specific mould.

Fuck. I’m so incredibly sad. 

P.S – somehow, miraculously, I still have yet to have a drink in November. 

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25 thoughts on “Buried in Sadness

  1. That back and forth is painful. It rips your heart out, and the grieving process each time feels more difficult. I’m sorry, PD. Little PD has done nothing wrong. Conditional love is not about you, but rather about the person setting the conditions and their shortfalls. Sending you and little PD hugs. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. PD,
    I relate to a lot (not all, but a lot) of the feelings you’ve been sharing around your family. It’s incredibly difficult. You’re doing fantastic – look at you, handling this sober! I know A would be proud, and I am too. The important thing though is that my being proud of you and caring for you (and A’s) is not conditional. It’s not based on the sobriety or any other measure. It’s based on the fact that you’re showing up to do hard work on yourself; you have a beautiful soul and you’re kicking ass, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. Still, I hear how hard it is, and I’m sorry. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lily ☺️ I’m shocked and proud too. But mostly shocked.

      Thank you for reminding me that your love and A’s love isn’t conditional. And thank you for reminding me I’m kicking ass simply by feeling.

      And just thank you for being you, beautiful soul that you are xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow PD…you are so strong and so brave!! How sad that your family does not get to share in your growth. I also have personal experience with these awful family dynamics, surprisingly a lot like what you have expressed. One thing that you might consider, your family might be reacting to the new grown and independent woman you’ve become and are threatened that they have lost the control they had over you so they are resorting to the things they did in the past to keep you under their thumb. Stay strong, build up your new family of husband and friends and let them come to you. Also, I agree with whoever said that your mom can wait for her money…you’re relationship and healing that you do with A is so much more important, especially right now!! Sending you some safe, warm hugs.

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    • Gratefully accepting those hugs. My family doesn’t know a lot about me, I’ve realized. You’re probably right. Also our habits are so ingrained it’s kind of hard to tell where one of us starts and another ends. I’ll probably make my Mom wait, or not, it may be easier to just get it over with. I don’t like the idea of any tie with them right now.

      Sending lovely hugs back xx

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  4. First, I’m proud of you for not drinking. These are all such powerful emotions you’re feeling, and you’re dealing with them without alcohol!
    Conditional love, it sucks. It’s really sad when we aren’t loved unless we fit a specific mold of what they want. Or when they aren’t proud of us because of who we are, but rather, because of things we do. It sucks, and I don’t have an answer of what to do about that. I wish I did. Just keep noticing your feelings, and in time they will pass.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! I’m astonished, really. I’m shocked I’m not drunk. It’s been 6 days which part of me feels shouldn’t be a celebration but it is. Today was the hardest.

      Conditional love is sad – I wish I had the answer too. They’re coming through like waves, the feelings, I’m not sure if I’m disassociating at all from them but I seem to be pretty present so far. We will see.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Is the part that feels like it shouldn’t be a celebration the critical voice?
        You can celebrate every day, especially the days that are hard and you stand your ground.
        Take it moment by moment. If you dissociate, it’s for protection and it’s okay.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think it is the critical voice. I mean, I feel like I shouldn’t be celebrating six days of something – “anyone can do it for six days, that’s not even a week, who celebrates for that period of time. Try a year. Also, you should just be able to not drink, it’s not a celebratory thing.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Can I try to talk to the CV?
        Six days is a celebration. There is no “should”; that just creates unnecessary pressure. PD has got a lot going on right now, and I know you want to protect her, but she doesn’t need it. She is doing great right now managing everything, and managing without alcohol is showing how strong she is. She will make it a week, and a month, and a year if she chooses, because she can do it.

        Just curious, is your goal to stop drinking completely, or to stop using alcohol as a coping mechanism?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks strong 🙂

        The goal was to make it through November sober. Mainly to prove to myself I still had control over it. Not sure what I will do after that, but it’s feeling pretty good to not be constantly hungover. It also feels like an eff you to my family who is drinking their way through this separation

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I can relate to the conditional love. My dad seems to be an advocate of it.
    I don’t even know what to say because I never know what to do myself. But don’t stop therapy to pay your mum back. She can wait for her money. Put yourself first. Don’t lose the connection you have with A. I fear what would happen to you if you did. This is your material for therapy.
    I’m glad that you have supportive friends and your husband too. This is crucial even if you can’t follow their advice.
    Maybe one day you will feel able to stand up to your family. They don’t deserve you but I understand why you can’t just cut them out. They are missing out on sharing in your newly married life and what you can bring to their lives.
    The fact that you haven’t had a drink is amazing. Something must be stopping you. But even if you had, it wouldn’t matter.
    Sending you love and virtual hugs x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve gone periods of time before without therapy but you’re right, now is not the time to do that. I won’t go below 1 a week, which is 6 therapy hours a month.

      I have tried standing up to them but it falls on deaf ears. As my one best friend says “you can’t negotiate with people who refuse to see any other opinion but their own.” And she is right.

      I do not know where this stubborn not drinking part of me has emerged from, but we seem to be doing alright so far. Thank you for the love xx

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  6. Your family don’t deserve you. I do know how hard it is to cut ties with people ou feel you should be connected to forever. But, you matter PD and they are making you feel like you don’t. Their love for you should be unconditional and it isn’t your fault that it doesn’t seem to be. You get punished for having your own feelings. It’s shit. It isn’t fair but it definitely isn’t your fault. It’s theirs.
    I’m angry on your behalf. If they can’t see what a lovely soul you are then they don’t deserve you. YOU are incredible PD. Reading your posts and seeing you struggle to get through makes me try harder in my own life. You have helped me and I’m pretty sure you have helped countless others in the WP community.
    Sending you huge hugs if wanted ❤️
    And also massive well done for not drinking! That’s huge x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you forever.

      Their love should be unconditional shouldn’t it… and it’s not. I do get punished for having feelings that aren’t ‘in line’ with the family mentality.

      Thank you for calling me incredible. And thank you for telling me I’ve helped you – that means the world to me. You have helped me too.

      Taking the huge hug and returning it xx

      Liked by 1 person

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