Feeling trapped and don't know which way to go

Ash_3

New Here
The pandemic has been hard on everyone, for me it specifically brought out a lot of emotions and memories and abuse that I had repressed all my life. I am thankful those memories have finally come to fruition however the predicament it leaves me in is one of much confusion.

I transferred far away from home to go to college and I had to move back as a result of the quarantine. When I returned I discovered that my mother, who has been in chronic pain and is on disability, was misusing her medication and reached a state of psychosis.

My family and I were able to get her medication taken away from her, ie by calling her pain management doctors anonymously, and she brought them in by her own choosing. However she does not know our involvement and if she did she would most likely retaliate against us, more specifically me as I am the only one who has had a relationship with her as my sisters moved out to live with our father, so until she decides to come to us with the information about her addiction we have to act as if we don't know anything.

The problem I am having is deciding whether or not to stay or move back to where I go to college because while she is not acting high or in any means abusive to me like she was in my childhood and early adolescence, I find that I get triggered by her. Again in comparison to before she hasn't been abusive to me in the same ways and I feel that I can stay here with her because ultimately I do worry about her. She is the only family I've ever known, she is my support system and even though she abused me horrifically I love her. I don't forgive her and it will take work to be able to fully forgive her.

In a lot of ways I was her caretaker growing up, and so sometimes I cant assess if it is codependency that is preventing me from taking the initiative to leave or other factors relating to finances and the pandemic that make me hesitant to leave. I know that even if I did leave I would still feel the same way so it is not a fix to the problem, but maybe it would help me heal in ways I couldn't do living with her.

I just don't know what to do, I'm a strong person and I've been through hell and I've reflected so much and grown so much but maybe I only think I could handle staying when I actually can't. The way I feel fluctuates everyday but sometimes I think it is because I give too much weight to the negative thoughts and Im stuck in those past sensations of fear and pain and abandonment.

Ultimately I want to leave and have that independence again, but I feel like I can use my current circumstance to my advantage as well. No matter what I choose it is a double edged sword and neither decision feels right. Any advice would be greatly greatly welcomed.
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
I am sorry you are having to got through this.

I have recently been through some similar circumstances with my own mother. As it stands right now, I am living about 1200 miles away from her and doing pretty darned well. I am somehow managing to stifle the guilt I have for feeling as though I have abandoned this woman who needs me so badly despite the incredible damage she has done to my life.

I came to the conclusion that neither of us will really heal if I do not go out into the world and find a way to function. She will stay riddled with guilt for the hell she has put me through and the way it has disabled me and I will stay angry because I will never have the things I want in life like a reasonable long-term career and a retirement plan.

It seemed very much like me completing grad school made my mother more needy. I'm sure she knew I would flee at some point.

So, here I am, being an asshole daughter who has already been zinged with a few guilt-laced darts. It's my time. I have to do this for both of us.

I don't know how much of that resonates with you but your story sounded very familiar to me. It may be your time to leave and it may not be. I stayed near to my mother in adulthood for 14 years. I only just left town about a year and a half ago and finally left the region a month ago. It was hard for me to break away but now that I am gone, it feels like it was the only option. My symptoms have decreased more in the last 18 months than they have in my entire life. I'm not being dragged back into the dark space of neglect and abuse on a daily basis and I accept that she struggles without my help - probably a lot like I have struggled without hers. I have played the adult all of my life. Now it's time for me to become a human being apart from the anchor pulling me to the bottom of the ocean that is my mother - a woman who has made terrible choices that I had no part in. I love her but I didn't choose to have a child and I am not ready for one, either.

I guess that isn't advice but reflection of my own experience. Hopefully there is something in there that can be useful to you.
 

Ash_3

New Here
I am sorry you are having to got through this.

I have recently been through some similar circumstances with my own mother. As it stands right now, I am living about 1200 miles away from her and doing pretty darned well. I am somehow managing to stifle the guilt I have for feeling as though I have abandoned this woman who needs me so badly despite the incredible damage she has done to my life.

I came to the conclusion that neither of us will really heal if I do not go out into the world and find a way to function. She will stay riddled with guilt for the hell she has put me through and the way it has disabled me and I will stay angry because I will never have the things I want in life like a reasonable long-term career and a retirement plan.

It seemed very much like me completing grad school made my mother more needy. I'm sure she knew I would flee at some point.

So, here I am, being an asshole daughter who has already been zinged with a few guilt-laced darts. It's my time. I have to do this for both of us.

I don't know how much of that resonates with you but your story sounded very familiar to me. It may be your time to leave and it may not be. I stayed near to my mother in adulthood for 14 years. I only just left town about a year and a half ago and finally left the region a month ago. It was hard for me to break away but now that I am gone, it feels like it was the only option. My symptoms have decreased more in the last 18 months than they have in my entire life. I'm not being dragged back into the dark space of neglect and abuse on a daily basis and I accept that she struggles without my help - probably a lot like I have struggled without hers. I have played the adult all of my life. Now it's time for me to become a human being apart from the anchor pulling me to the bottom of the ocean that is my mother - a woman who has made terrible choices that I had no part in. I love her but I didn't choose to have a child and I am not ready for one, either.

I guess that isn't advice but reflection of my own experience. Hopefully there is something in there that can be useful to you.

Wow thank you so much for sharing. I truly resonated with essentially all of what you said. You hit the nail on the head about the one thing that I think that is what is truly holding me back - the guilt of leaving even though I know it is not my obligation to care for my mother, it was never my job. She was the adult and she made the choices that she did, that is not my burden. It hurts me so much inside because deep down I know that leaving is what is best for me. It is probably best for both of us as well.

For the record from what you have written, I truly don't believe you are an asshole daughter. You are a good person and you have a great heart. Thank you for your candor, you've probably saved me from letting myself get caught up in the madness again.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
The pandemic has been hard on everyone, for me it specifically brought out a lot of emotions and memories and abuse that I had repressed all my life. I am thankful those memories have finally come to fruition however the predicament it leaves me in is one of much confusion. I transferred far away from home to go to college and I had to move back as a result of the quarantine. When I returned I discovered that my mother, who has been in chronic pain and is on disability, was misusing her medication and reached a state of psychosis. My family and I were able to get her medication taken away from her, ie by calling her pain management doctors anonymously, and she brought them in by her own choosing. However she does not know our involvement and if she did she would most likely retaliate against us, more specifically me as I am the only one who has had a relationship with her as my sisters moved out to live with our father, so until she decides to come to us with the information about her addiction we have to act as if we don't know anything. The problem I am having is deciding whether or not to stay or move back to where I go to college because while she is not acting high or in any means abusive to me like she was in my childhood and early adolescence, I find that I get triggered by her. Again in comparison to before she hasn't been abusive to me in the same ways and I feel that I can stay here with her because ultimately I do worry about her. She is the only family I've ever known, she is my support system and even though she abused me horrifically I love her. I don't forgive her and it will take work to be able to fully forgive her In a lot of ways I was her caretaker growing up, and so sometimes I cant assess if it is codependency that is preventing me from taking the initiative to leave or other factors relating to finances and the pandemic that make me hesitant to leave. I know that even if I did leave I would still feel the same way so it is not a fix to the problem, but maybe it would help me heal in ways I couldn't do living with her. I just don't know what to do, I'm a strong person and I've been through hell and I've reflected so much and grown so much but maybe I only think I could handle staying when I actually can't. The way I feel fluctuates everyday but sometimes I think it is because I give too much weight to the negative thoughts and Im stuck in those past sensations of fear and pain and abandonment. Ultimately I want to leave and have that independence again, but I feel like I can use my current circumstance to my advantage as well. No matter what I choose it is a double edged sword and neither decision feels right. Any advice would be greatly greatly welcomed.

If you choose to step back, distance yourself from your mom while she's working on straightening herself out, she needs space and time to look at some tough stuff....including the harm she's done to you. To be successful, you need space to be successful in school and she needs space so she can look at and deal w her demons. So, it's okay to think about your future, your education, and your mental health.....and you are not responsible for taking care of her getting over her addiction...she has to do that-you aren't her husband, best friend or Narcotics Anonymous sponsor.....you are her child and addiction is a hard thing to overcome. Living with a newly recovering alcoholic or addict.....can be just as hard as living with an active one. Since you have some deep history....likelyhood is that it may get real triggering. Giving space for everyone to heal is a good thing-a kind thing- to all involved. You are an adult....your mom is an adult....you can call, send cards, come home on the holiday, meet in the middle for dinner, and be her daughter......and she can go to NA meetings, woman up to the challenge, and find a sponsor for support and an addiction T. You might find a T and work on the co-dependent issues you might have. Best chances for your relationship in the future, is to take care of yourself....now....and give her the distance she needs to become successful....
 

Ash_3

New Here
If you choose to step back, distance yourself from your mom while she's working on straightening herself out, she needs space and time to look at some tough stuff....including the harm she's done to you. To be successful, you need space to be successful in school and she needs space so she can look at and deal w her demons. So, it's okay to think about your future, your education, and your mental health.....and you are not responsible for taking care of her getting over her addiction...she has to do that-you aren't her husband, best friend or Narcotics Anonymous sponsor.....you are her child and addiction is a hard thing to overcome. Living with a newly recovering alcoholic or addict.....can be just as hard as living with an active one. Since you have some deep history....likelyhood is that it may get real triggering. Giving space for everyone to heal is a good thing-a kind thing- to all involved. You are an adult....your mom is an adult....you can call, send cards, come home on the holiday, meet in the middle for dinner, and be her daughter......and she can go to NA meetings, woman up to the challenge, and find a sponsor for support and an addiction T. You might find a T and work on the co-dependent issues you might have. Best chances for your relationship in the future, is to take care of yourself....now....and give her the distance she needs to become successful....
After reading this I took a deep breath...a deep deep breath of relief. Thank you for not only advocating for my own mental health and growth, but for my Mother's as well. Thank you for showing me the ways in which this will benefit the both of us. Her battle will be tougher than mine, but as long as I am here the more I am enabling her. I guess what is hard about it is that it almost feels like an ending, but this is a beginning. Thank you
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
After reading this I took a deep breath...a deep deep breath of relief. Thank you for not only advocating for my own mental health and growth, but for my Mother's as well. Thank you for showing me the ways in which this will benefit the both of us. Her battle will be tougher than mine, but as long as I am here the more I am enabling her. I guess what is hard about it is that it almost feels like an ending, but this is a beginning. Thank you

A very positive way to look at it....boundaries....it's all about boundaries....Good luck with that.
 
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