Interacting with my Abuser

marie141078

New Here
I'm still new to all of this. I recently found out I had PTSD only a month or so ago when I kept having frequent panic attacks and major sleep issues after babysitting my siblings for 2 weeks straight since moving out. I am now regularly seeing a therapist and finding out things about myself I never once thought about. My mom is my abuser. She's always had a sort of hatred toward me since I was young. And, until recently, until finally moving out, I hadn't thought it was wrong. I simply thought that was just the way life should be. Of course, I can't cut ties with my mom because my siblings are still young and to interact with them, I have to go through her. She tries to be friendly now and it feels superficial. It feels off, unnatural, and I strangely don't like it at all. I look at her and all I can see is anger and fear, even when she's being nice. Now, I've been babysitting a lot and every time I come home, I feel empty. I feel like I betrayed her in some way. I don't know. My therapist told me when I'm in between sessions, maybe it would help to talk to others who are suffering similar issues, so here I am. Any advice please?
 

Friday

Moderator
It probably sounds silly... but I can do almost anything, work with almost anyone, if I pretend I’m a spy.

Because they don’t get the real me. They get a working version of myself, who owes them no loyalty, no honesty, and no place in my heart. It uncomplicates a very complicated situation, by adding a metric shit ton of emotional distancing. Rather than draining me dry, leaving me either or in some combo of empty/zoned-out/dissociated/touchy/temperamental? Adding in that distance in advance of having to deal with them, it creates a cushion of energy/reserves.
 

woodsy1

Confident
I'm still new to all of this. I recently found out I had PTSD only a month or so ago when I kept having frequent panic attacks and major sleep issues after babysitting my siblings for 2 weeks straight since moving out. I am now regularly seeing a therapist and finding out things about myself I never once thought about. My mom is my abuser. She's always had a sort of hatred toward me since I was young. And, until recently, until finally moving out, I hadn't thought it was wrong. I simply thought that was just the way life should be. Of course, I can't cut ties with my mom because my siblings are still young and to interact with them, I have to go through her. She tries to be friendly now and it feels superficial. It feels off, unnatural, and I strangely don't like it at all. I look at her and all I can see is anger and fear, even when she's being nice. Now, I've been babysitting a lot and every time I come home, I feel empty. I feel like I betrayed her in some way. I don't know. My therapist told me when I'm in between sessions, maybe it would help to talk to others who are suffering similar issues, so here I am. Any advice please?
Hello friend,
How horrible that your mom, who should be one of the sources of unconditional love in your life, has always hated you. That has to weigh on you in a way that hurts like crazy. It cuts to the very core of who you are.

PTSD sucks. It robs us of life and defiles the very essence of who we are.

You are valuable and worthy of love.

Feel free to share your frustrations here. It helps to acknowledge all the overwhelming emotions that come with the trauma of being rejected by the ones we love.

Here you will find people who will listen to your grief, sympathize with it, and give you some ideas for dealing with your torment.

Hang in there! There is hope.

A fellow survivor,
Woodsy
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Is it possible to see your siblings somewhere else rather than their home?
Can you bring them to yours?

Maybe trying to find a way of limiting time needed to talk with your mum. Or trying to put some boundaries in (if she will respect and honour them).

Or maybe trying some positive affirmations before you interact with your mum?

It's really tough with things like this. Hope you find a way through.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
I look at her and all I can see is anger and fear, even when she's being nice.
This sounds like an entirely healthy and appropriate thing to be feeling now that your confronting things she did to you.

Good thing about feelings is they wax and wane. Always. Even the really overwhelming ones. A lot of people find their journalling is one way to help move through emotionwhen they feel stuck. Maybe worth a try?
I feel like I betrayed her in some way. I don't know.
Well, yeah. Especially if she was your primary caregiver when you grew up, this is hardwired into a child's brain for survival, so that we don't challenge the people who are keeping us alive. A lot of us establish a trauma bond with our abuser, for a range of reasons, so that even thinking bad thoughts about them can be incredibly confronting and distressing.

It will probably stay uncomfortable for a while, as you move through your recovery. But it does get easier.

In the meantime, feelings aren't facts. It feels like betrayal, because that's your childhood wiring. But it's not actually betrayal - you're your own person now, and you owe your abuser nothing. It's healthy and reasonable that you'd get angry at her now, not like being around her, and not like having to maintain civility with her.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @marie141078, I understand your predicament. My dad was one of my abusers. I hated him and just felt so upset and angry every time I thought about him. I haven't seen him in years. I hope things get better for you and I'm glad that you have a therapist and have moved out. That will help.
 
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