How do I know it's not me?

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I'm dealing with my abusive mother who tells me that I change around everything to make it fit my thoughts. I am always kind of shocked and confused, and then thinking on it - how do I know I don't do that? We all have perceptions of what happened and people see different things, but I question the fact that my perception is close to reality. I know I don't come screaming at her when she is minding her own business so there is that, but every time she does it to me, she has a "reason". I'm a blood sucking failure. I am disabled with PTSD, got my SSDI in 4 months. I never act like I'm disabled even though I am because that's not acceptable. She corrected me every time I said I was disabled by saying I was retired. Goddess forbid I have a mental illness. Especially one caused by complex trauma. So how do you know it is them twisting the truth, or you, or both?

The last time I had to go to ER in Feb. because I was suicidal, they believed every word I said. They said I had PTSD from complex trauma, and I moved in with my mom and was suicidal. What's the common denominator? Her. I don't know if that's enough to not feel like there was something I could have, or can do. Why does she get so intense when she is screaming at me? Then of course there's the stuff about my moving her stuff. I have never been diagnosed with DID, nor do I think I have it, but what if I did and that's what happened and why I don't remember it? I am just tired of questioning myself all the time and trying to see where I'm messing up so badly. It's like a worm digging in my brain. Ugh.
 

EvenStrongerNow

MyPTSD Pro
Hey there, I just want to say that losing a sense of yourself is very very hard, especially on bad days. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Being forgetful just makes everything worse but seems to come with the trauma territory.

I find it helps to remind myself that I'd know if I were twisting the truth or not. You're not dumb just because you have PTSD. Also it helps to give some more detail to a trusted person or even a group of internet strangers to receive their feedback. Gentle hugs. There's nothing wrong with you DG.
 

grief

Sponsor
I know I don't come screaming at her when she is minding her own business so there is that, but every time she does it to me, she has a "reason". I'm a blood sucking failure. I am disabled with PTSD, got my SSDI in 4 months. I never act like I'm disabled even though I am because that's not acceptable. She corrected me every time I said I was disabled by saying I was retired.
what is important when determining what the facts of reality are is whether or not one of the people in the equation is causing suffering and one is not. you are not yelling and screaming. you are not intruding onto her space. you are not twisting her words around ("retired" vs "disabled"). you are not telling her what is and isn't true. ("you aren't this" or "you are that.") there is only one person in this situation who is doing those things and it is not you.
 

Friday

Moderator
but every time she does it to me, she has a "reason".
You were in danger, or far away?

Those are the only 2 reasons I accept as “me” stuff.

(( Unless I’m cutting on them, or something. Because, dude, if I’m digging a bullet fragment out of your arm? That’s gonna f*cking hurt. Not yelling and screaming would just be weird. ))

Anything else is the other person. Their choices/personality.


***
KidFriday Story... I have this in drafts right now, which is on target with the choices we make in how we share our thoughts and feelings with others (I’ll post that below, it’s done-ish // IE not really, as it ties into the second piece really hard, but it’s not totally non-sequitur on its own); as well as the importance of reality-checking with people we agree with when we’re on our A-game / rocking out with our cocks out / living life to the hilt; whilst reeeeeally limiting the influence people -that we may even care about deeply- that we don’t agree with their world view, even during the best of times, much less want to use them as a guiding star during our worst times. But it got looooong. And I’m very touch&go at the moment. So I may be able to edit/post, or it might die in drafts. So I figured I’d kick this bit up, while I can.

When my son was little I used to have him repeat the same sentence, over and over, using different tones and expressions. ((It’s an ADHD trick for emotional monitoring and regulation -& reading social cues- since those things don’t come naturally, as well as just a useful life skill. ))

When we were playing the game we’d do the whole spectrum, not every time, but picking and choosing for fun; ranging from the ridiculous, to the plausible, to the honest truth 6 different ways.

When I was doing the discipline thing, however, I’d just tell him to “Back up. Try again.” <<< Not telling him which emotions to display, nor in what fashion, just letting him know that his first choice? Was unacceptable. Nope. We don’t treat people that way -or- you don’t treat me that way (because there’s a difference). You can be angry, and show that, without screaming / sneering / belittling / insulting / etc. All of those things? Are choices. Decisions in how we are going to treat someone else when we’re angry. Or sad. Or happy. Or curious. Or whatever. How we choose to share our thoughts and our feelings with others? Has almost nothing to do with them, and nearly everything to do with us.

Someone choosing to share they’re mad about something by yelling and screaming about it? Sure. That conveys that they’re pissed off. And dunking your head in acid prevents acne. Shrug. Doesn’t mean it’s the best choice.
 
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Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro
Acceptance that her choice of behavior which is gaslighting, emotionally abusive as well as triggering (regardless of who is right or wrong or to blame) ISN’T the same as your approval. You donot control her choices. Donot take her mental baton that she is passing to you : simply phase out walking away when possible, excusing yourself.

My tip for self survival :
While you are triggering mentally focus and pretend that you are a Playwright Critic -view her (your Mom) as a major character in a script that has a serious role to play to continue the complex PTSD dysfunctional family pattern.

Make a game out of it silently. Figure out where in the script she will be written as doing something unusually kind inorder to hover and confuse the victim (thus opening the victim’s self-doubt and enticing renewed emotional connection in which she can then act out to sabotage). Wash, rinse, repeat.

*If your phone has a password just place it in your notes in a coded manner). Then determine how long before her character will cycle back to the old ways (after that sweet period).

Why it can work:
Alerts you to the cycle of abuse
Offers a sense of distance by not internalizing her abusive words
Keeps you focused and feeling in control of self as you witness objectively
Offers a visual lesson to your Son on how to break the pattern of self -flogging or approval of emotional abuse as the norm in relationships

*Try not to grin too largely or laugh out loud in her presence while she is acting out (since she will up the ante as she feeds on your reaction). If she does …then walk away and offer to discuss it later when she is calm.

Think of the each situation or incident as a story in family dynamics for future therapy work for cleansing for you as well as your Son’s mental injuries or within the journey to heal.

Remember… you were not born with PTSD…something happened along the way to get you there. However, a lot more has happened within your healthy choices to create a strong and loving Mom for your Son despite his Grandma’s poorly scripted examples in this moment.🤗

PS… it worked for my Son and I long ago. Luv, light and warmth.
 
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DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
view her (your Mom) as a major character in a script that has a serious role to play to continue the complex PTSD dysfunctional family pattern.
I've never thought of this! Thank you! We have worked out her cycles. Or at least we know when she is going to blow again. Seeing it as a film will really help distance me, since I am really upset about how much she despises me when 6 months ago she was saying how close we were.
 
We all have perceptions of what happened and people see different things
^Absolutely correct. Everyone sees things ever so slightly different. Everyone has a perspective. This is the human condition and isn't peculiar to you or your mother. It's rather well documented in legal circles and creates lots of dilemmas but that doesn't mean that you are wrong and she is right or vice versa.

but every time she does it to me, she has a "reason".
^There's really not a reason that is sufficient to be abusive though. I think you know that. You don't deserve to be screamed at or gas-lighted or treated badly at all. I know she's your mother but as a mother yourself you know that's not sufficient. There is no privilege in mother-hood for abuse to off-spring.

I'm a blood sucking failure. I am disabled with PTSD, got my SSDI in 4 months
^This sort of language is that of someone who has no idea how damaging their words are. But you do, so shield yourself from them. It's not true and I hope you know this. Of all the people I know and have read on this forum you are one of the most positive and productive people. Always growing, mending, selling and being entrepreneurial in your endeavours to make your own way and pay your own way. It's simply abusive language designed to harm. Please don't let that happen.
I said I was disabled by saying I was retired. Goddess forbid I have a mental illness.
^So this is you being truthful and her using words to deny and invalidate your experience. If she wants to describe your situation or interpret your circumstances like this then I see no reason to worry. But in your own mind, you were retired because you were disabled. Her language is spin but your reality remains the same regardless of her 'take' on your circumstances.

^Some people never ever get the concept of mental illness. I wonder if it might be a generational thing?
So how do you know it is them twisting the truth, or you, or both?
^Perhaps there's no twist and this just goes back to perceptions. I think you need to be firm though that your reality is the only reality you are entertaining when she accuses you of doing strange things. If you didn't move stuff then you didn't move stuff... there isn't another DG wondering in and out of your psyche playing duck n weave. If you had DID you'd have much more than your mother letting you know that things were not adding up. Like your son and other close people and more to the point they'd be really worried for you - not wanting to take you down.
Why does she get so intense when she is screaming at me?
^ Because somewhere along her life journey screaming got her what she wanted. So, it's a tactic and perhaps you react in a defined manner when she does. This is of course ruling out that she's got nothing wrong with all of her marbles - assuming???

Then of course there's the stuff about my moving her stuff. I
^Again, if you didn't move her stuff - then you don't need me to reassure you that you didn't move her stuff. The most simple explanations are likely to be the truth. 1. Her stuff was moved by her and she forgot that she did 2. She wants to create drama by falsely accusing (what could the hidden agenda be?) 3. She really is losing her marbles (it happens) 4. She's incredibly insecure about her stuff and wants you to know that - (refer to 2)
I have never been diagnosed with DID, nor do I think I have it, but what if I did and that's what happened and why I don't remember it?
^Rubbish - if you had DID like I said earlier there'd be a lot more situations arising aside from a screaming mother to alert you to the possibility. Gas-lighting does exactly this and you are reacting exactly as she expects you to. Your ptsd brain is blaming yourself and buying into the realms of the very unlikely rather than the obvious and most likely scenario. Do not get gas-lit!
I am just tired of questioning myself all the time and trying to see where I'm messing up so badly
^Exhaustion from constant critical supervision and judgement is hard to avoid. Is it so hard to accept that the negativity she is producing is exhausting you? Even somebody who doesn't have ptsd would be feeling tired under a barrage of false accusations and invalidation.

I don't accept that you're messing up badly. I think you are doing the best you can given the circumstances. But even if your mother thinks that you are messing up - there are much better ways of helping and guiding. Ask yourself if she has your best interests at heart in telling you all about your faults or another intention weighing upon her mind? Go with that DG - you're a good person stuck in a bad situation. I hope you get out of there sooner than later.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I was just having a bad day. With everything I learned from people on this website and therapy, and support from you guys, I'm doing better. I'm doing better than I thought I would. My whole world is being shaken and I'm dealing with it pretty well. That was my worst day, I think. I love how everyone is able to point out my cognitive distortions and point me in the right direction. Thank you all so much!
 

Toren

Learning
I'm dealing with my abusive mother who tells me that I change around everything to make it fit my thoughts. I am always kind of shocked and confused, and then thinking on it - how do I know I don't do that? We all have perceptions of what happened and people see different things, but I question the fact that my perception is close to reality. I know I don't come screaming at her when she is minding her own business so there is that, but every time she does it to me, she has a "reason". I'm a blood sucking failure. I am disabled with PTSD, got my SSDI in 4 months. I never act like I'm disabled even though I am because that's not acceptable. She corrected me every time I said I was disabled by saying I was retired. Goddess forbid I have a mental illness. Especially one caused by complex trauma. So how do you know it is them twisting the truth, or you, or both?

The last time I had to go to ER in Feb. because I was suicidal, they believed every word I said. They said I had PTSD from complex trauma, and I moved in with my mom and was suicidal. What's the common denominator? Her. I don't know if that's enough to not feel like there was something I could have, or can do. Why does she get so intense when she is screaming at me? Then of course there's the stuff about my moving her stuff. I have never been diagnosed with DID, nor do I think I have it, but what if I did and that's what happened and why I don't remember it? I am just tired of questioning myself all the time and trying to see where I'm messing up so badly. It's like a worm digging in my brain. Ugh.
Some people who are emotionally unavailable, unwilling or unable to connect with true empathy will react to your emotional needs with anger. Gaslighting. Could be conscious or not. Doesn't matter. You cannot change that person unless they are willing to look at their own stuff. Trust your instincts. I know that's something I am trying to learn to do. It's a goal though.

Acceptance that her choice of behavior which is gaslighting, emotionally abusive as well as triggering (regardless of who is right or wrong or to blame) ISN’T the same as your approval. You donot control her choices. Donot take her mental baton that she is passing to you : simply phase out walking away when possible, excusing yourself.

My tip for self survival :
While you are triggering mentally focus and pretend that you are a Playwright Critic -view her (your Mom) as a major character in a script that has a serious role to play to continue the complex PTSD dysfunctional family pattern.

Make a game out of it silently. Figure out where in the script she will be written as doing something unusually kind inorder to hover and confuse the victim (thus opening the victim’s self-doubt and enticing renewed emotional connection in which she can then act out to sabotage). Wash, rinse, repeat.

*If your phone has a password just place it in your notes in a coded manner). Then determine how long before her character will cycle back to the old ways (after that sweet period).

Why it can work:
Alerts you to the cycle of abuse
Offers a sense of distance by not internalizing her abusive words
Keeps you focused and feeling in control of self as you witness objectively
Offers a visual lesson to your Son on how to break the pattern of self -flogging or approval of emotional abuse as the norm in relationships

*Try not to grin too largely or laugh out loud in her presence while she is acting out (since she will up the ante as she feeds on your reaction). If she does …then walk away and offer to discuss it later when she is calm.

Think of the each situation or incident as a story in family dynamics for future therapy work for cleansing for you as well as your Son’s mental injuries or within the journey to heal.

Remember… you were not born with PTSD…something happened along the way to get you there. However, a lot more has happened within your healthy choices to create a strong and loving Mom for your Son despite his Grandma’s poorly scripted examples in this moment.🤗

PS… it worked for my Son and I long ago. Luv, light and warmth.
This is magic stuff here. I am going to hang this over my computer for awhile. Wish I knew this 30 years ago
 
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