The Shunning/ I have to be on high alert

Dolce

Learning
I live like this. I am no contact with my father, who was my primary abuser. He lives a little over a city block away from me. I have seen him walking by my house, at the store, riding his bike. Every time I’ve seen him it’s jarring and triggering and takes me a while to process and recover. I lived with him for 39 years and I’m in my mid-40’s. My brain is hyper vigilant about seeing him. I hate it, but the way I’ve dealt with it is tiny tiny baby steps. Actually every time I’ve seen him has been helpful for my own integration—as in, “It happened. I’m still here. I can still smile and go on walks. My T is there for me.”

My advice is no contact. If you feel you can’t then if it were me I would dismantle every reason into its components and get rid of as many as I could. I thought I was going to live with my dad for my whole life, take care of him as he was dying, and then I would be free. But that was a fantasy, generated from our toxic relationship which benefited him and made me the sucker. It’s not an easy decision and you would need a support system in place, but you seem like a determined person.
I will try to stay no contact for as long as I can if not forever. I don't know. It would be very stupid of me to go right back when this thing expires. I believe she would expect that and I think there would be some longing for this but I am trying to plan for this. I do really wish I had a stronger posse. I am scared...scared of her but also strangely dependent on her. It's not cool to admit. She could topple me. She could make me feel like my narcissist ex bf. I told her she had me under her thumb and I think she thrived off that and her husband did too. I guess I have to remember that....terrible quotes things like I must respect her b/c she is my elder....I don't subscribe to that. I think respect is a two way street. Yeah it's not good to live in the past but I should not romantaaize this woman who well she did some awful things to me. I once thought all she did was stick by her husband and was weak but she did alot more to me on purpose and it was frankly sadistic. Ok I will have to remember that. I want to also think maybe something could be redeemed but my therapist said I would be in a dangerous spot with her and I would. Some things to consider. I appreciate the support. I will try to stay strong. Holidays are hard on me too. Thanks and take care everyone.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
It sounds as if you want it that way. I don't know but I pray for peace..

not even close on how i want it but what i want isn't on this particular menu. i will join you in that prayer for peace and add in the prayer that my son find the happiness i always wanted for him. it is natural for adults to leave their parents. i have nary a doubt happiness is possible without mom. plenty of proof available.
 

Dolce

Learning
I don't know about that. It leaves scars I read an article that I wont share here maybe that was very incisive. Your son left you prefer it that way. You said so.
You prefer estrangement for whatever reasons. My Moms were not valid in my opinion. It was about defending her abuser husband and punishing me and getting off the hook for and even continuing what could be construed as illegal abuses on me. I would prefer not talk about this any more.... I am trying to find healing and I am deeply scarred by my Mother and her purposeful hurtful actions. I am not this type of person. Maybe you gather this. I don't understand parents harming their kids as a kid or as an adult. My Mom did this. You seem to be happier and more at peace with your son out of your life not knowing a thing about him. I don't really understand that. But you can tell yourself that folks can be happy when they have no family or a family in my case that hurts me.
You have no contact and maybe that's better for both of you. He had the maturity to do that as you wished. Let him go. Don't obsess about whether he blames you. In these types of things there is blame. I bear the blame for my entire family and even their insane actions. This is called a dysf family to the hilt. But no my Mom would say I alone am the dysfunctional one. Why then was I tasked w caring with her Mother with Dementia all alone in her home and called by my Mom her Guardian Angel...well b/c she has conditional in other words never had real care or love for me only what was convenient for her. I don't operate that way. Take care. I am trying to heal have safety. I still miss my Mom to a degree which is not to say she is not a severe abuser. I didn't know how physically abusive she could be until the last three years. I'd seen snippets of the rage but not the unrelenting psychotic tirade rage and vacant looks and telling me very spooky things. Mothers sometimes tell themselves things. My Mom does. I live in reality and it's not a fun or that happy place to live. I am proud though that I lived period while being abused pummeled physically and otherwise threatened demeaned medically sabotaged. If you think I am happy about this you are wrong. I look sad most of the time. I hope I can choose some dignified paths and it sounds like your son did. He chose to leave break conctact whether no matter who was "wrong". I do hear blame from you though....bitterness from you and telling me that I can be happy w/o what I think I deserve. Aloha. As I said earlier Good luck.

not even close on how i want it but what i want isn't on this particular menu. i will join you in that prayer for peace and add in the prayer that my son find the happiness i always wanted for him. it is natural for adults to leave their parents. i have nary a doubt happiness is possible without mom. plenty of proof available.
Id prefer not chime in about this any more...too triggering...pls....thanks. My post was about my experience and my lack of safety and anxiety. Folks saying that ppl can live w/o any family or that fam estrangement is natural are lying to themselves....Neither that nor abuse in my case is natural....or blame for it. It often happens though. Your son wanted to leave to not engage further in a toxic relationship. You said you feel safer and maybe he does too. That took balls and maturity on his end to do that. It's not easy to cut off a parent. It should also not be easy for them to cut off a child. It should never be easy for them to do or excuse abuse which happened in my case and continued even recently to the pt of stalking after my Stepdad died. What was my Mom seeking there? A rise. That was unnatural. In the animal kingdom and for much of human history family is about working together and encouraging your kids to grow and love them into adulthood and yes individuation. My Mom didn't want that and I wonder if you do. Your son took a step in that direction by leaving no matter what happened in the past he decided he didn't want it to continue. Wish him well from afar but stop blaming him endlessly and saying he would attack you...
He completely left you and it was the right thing for both of you. ALoha. This is not assisting me. Kids of any age are not happy losing a parent esp this way esp by ugly estrangement and abuse in my case. Its waaaay harder and more painful than losing a parent to death. I know this seeing my Dad die of Pancreatic cancer. Aloha!

Didn't mean to respond twice. Pls heal yourself and wish your son well silently and it sounds as if you all are not going to speak. Ok. Fine. You say ppl can be happy like that. You are likely wrong. I read an article about a woman cutting off her Mother and why and it's painful. It's not a happy thing at all. It's maybe ness sometimes. And that's all I have to say further on it.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I was seeking how to deal with the hypervigilance and trauma thrust upon me which is and isnt a symptom. I mean of course it worsens my PTSD symptoms. I am seeking advice on how to deal with my unique and everyone has unique circumstances. Mine have been connected to the source of my PTSD for 40 some years...

my abuse...not any abuse I did....but abuse done to me then blame then forced into hypervigilance prob before the PFA and def after it. I am also wondering if I should ever talk to my Mother again given her slander and betrayals of me all to protect her husband and her pride. Idk.
So if you wanted advice...I'd also share my thoughts.

But I think you've made it clear that you no longer want to hear advice. Or, you can just leave the thread be, and come back in a few days and see if it's gotten more responses. Members don't all visit the forum every day, and threads take awhile to gain responses.

Id prefer not chime in about this any more...too triggering...pls....thanks. My post was about my experience and my lack of safety and anxiety.
Remember - you don't have to respond in a thread, if you don't want to. But you do have to be prepared for people to have thoughts and opinions. Opening a thread is opening a discussion - it's a two-way street.

It's easier to maintain control of responses in your diary, where it's not a discussion - it's a place for you to have your thoughts, and you can specify for other members the kind of engagement you want and the kind you don't want.
Folks saying that ppl can live w/o any family or that fam estrangement is natural are lying to themselves....
Gonna call bullshit on this one. Partly because, you're wrong. And partly because, this is a kind of black-or-white thinking that is common in people with many different mental health problems. Cognitive distortion, it's at the root of much of what we all struggle with. A better way to frame this is, "I see that other people can live without family, or think that estrangement is natural; but for me, this is hard and unnatural."

That's not about you taking other people's feelings into consideration - it's about you starting to understand that while you can't change other people's choices, you can always change your own choices.
I bear the blame for my entire family and even their insane actions.
Like this statement: I'll say something kind of blunt, but I hope you can reflect on it, when you have a cooler head.

They may blame you - it sounds like they do blame you. But it's your choice whether or not to agree with them. You can choose to know that you are not to blame, and while they may want you to carry that blame...if you don't want to carry it, well, that's up to you. I'm not saying it's easy - it's just true.

I am scared...scared of her but also strangely dependent on her. It's not cool to admit.
This is a really powerful statement. I think if you can start to look at the ways in which you are dependent on her, that will allow you the space to start to create your independence.

Bottom line: hyper-vigilance is a symptom. If you are in literal moment-to moment physical danger, then you deserve to take the steps you need to take to change the situation. If you are saying that this hyper vigilance is being forced on you, or enacted upon you - that's not a useful way to think about it, because you will always be powerless in that scenario, and powerlessness feels so extremely raw and painful. It's where the trauma lives.
 

Dolce

Learning
So if you wanted advice...I'd also share my thoughts.

But I think you've made it clear that you no longer want to hear advice. Or, you can just leave the thread be, and come back in a few days and see if it's gotten more responses. Members don't all visit the forum every day, and threads take awhile to gain responses.

Remember - you don't have to respond in a thread, if you don't want to. But you do have to be prepared for people to have thoughts and opinions. Opening a thread is opening a discussion - it's a two-way street.

It's easier to maintain control of responses in your diary, where it's not a discussion - it's a place for you to have your thoughts, and you can specify for other members the kind of engagement you want and the kind you don't want.
Gonna call bullshit on this one. Partly because, you're wrong. And partly because, this is a kind of black-or-white thinking that is common in people with many different mental health problems. Cognitive distortion, it's at the root of much of what we all struggle with. A better way to frame this is, "I see that other people can live without family, or think that estrangement is natural; but for me, this is hard and unnatural."

That's not about you taking other people's feelings into consideration - it's about you starting to understand that while you can't change other people's choices, you can always change your own choices.
Like this statement: I'll say something kind of blunt, but I hope you can reflect on it, when you have a cooler head.

They may blame you - it sounds like they do blame you. But it's your choice whether or not to agree with them. You can choose to know that you are not to blame, and while they may want you to carry that blame...if you don't want to carry it, well, that's up to you. I'm not saying it's easy - it's just true.

This is a really powerful statement. I think if you can start to look at the ways in which you are dependent on her, that will allow you the space to start to create your independence.

Bottom line: hyper-vigilance is a symptom. If you are in literal moment-to moment physical danger, then you deserve to take the steps you need to take to change the situation. If you are saying that this hyper vigilance is being forced on you, or enacted upon you - that's not a useful way to think about it, because you will always be powerless in that scenario, and powerlessness feels so extremely raw and painful. It's where the trauma lives.
Joey Little a lot of what you said made sense but a lot of what the other person said did not make sense and was about her. I chose to block her. That also is my choice. I do not have black or white thinking but I did ask for advice and you gave me some good advice. I do think estrangement in my opinion and I said it was my opinion is unnatural but at some times it is needed I guess sadly. To say there is lots of evidence of ppl happy without Mothers I would like to see that. It's a painful thing to have decades and this not acc only to me but also a Stepmother whom I am not super close with but she said this stuff has been going on for decades. I don't think it's a cognitive distortion to say that there's lots of evidence that for a lot of history family was built I mean ideally and of course it doesn't always happen but on mutual consideration and cooperation where ppl all get most of their needs met and dignity respect. I believe in that. I also think in the animal kingdom animals foster their children to be fed cared for strong to "leave the nest". But to not talk to your parent or child it's not the natural way. Maybe sometimes it's the best way I said. The article very well written was about a person who cut off her Mother and I think the headline was I don't trust Parents who are totally estranged from their adult children. And you know what I don't either. And that's my prerogative. It I think doesn't make me sick. I don't believe in normal or abnormal. I know I am deeply traumatized and raw as you said at the end. I am honest brutally so. Physically I have been in danger over the last two years. I had no recourses b/c I was not listened to. Oh well drs were willing to call the police. Police cared some of them but my hearing was a blank show....it went so wrong so horrid. My Mom told monologues innane ones about stuff allegedly in the 80s like a stuck out tongue acc to her in mid 80s?! Who is warped and distorted? But I guess I am too as a result of living in such conditions and being desperate for love....love that wasn't there. By virtue of things as they are hypervigilance is a symptom but also something I have to do for at least the near future. I hear what you said on many things. I don't feel that I have black or white thinking. I know a lot ab psych. I am in counseling. No counselor told me that. You are free to that opinion and your response was more caring and outwardly focused than the other persons. Thanks. I have PTSD and anxiety not pers disorders where black and white rigid ideas permeate. There is not one normal but there are certain things I believe are natural with "normal" maternal instincts and healthy relationships. I guess I don't have that w my fam. I am working on it as I can w myself. Pc acting up. I tend to write long and honestly from the heart.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Can I ask - and forgive me if I've asked you this before, I can't recall - is moving away from the area you live in currently an option at all? I know moving as an adult is NOT easy, under almost any circumstances...and so I don't mean to suggest, "just move" as if it's a simple solution.

But you do deserve to live your day-to-day without being in fear for your physical safety.

And, you deserve to have the space to do some mental healing. Because you're right, just living in the same town where the trauma occurred is an extremely difficult thing to do, even if a person isn't seeing the others who are involved in a regular way. You're having to encounter family members regularly and without warning - that's a heavy stress load. Trying to find recovery while living in the middle of that is very, very hard to do.

Even a temporary move, something where you could get away for a year. six months. Is leaving something that has too many barriers, or would it help to brainstorm about ways you might be able to shift the environment, so you can get some respite (even temporary)?
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
gentle empathy on the hypervigilance, etc., those symptoms can seriously ruin a day. this very post is one of my own therapy tools for those very symptoms inside my strictly personal skin. getting to and remediating the psycho snot knots attached to those symptoms is a critical step in figuring out where to go from here.

Folks saying that ppl can live w/o any family or that fam estrangement is natural are lying to themselves..

an adult child leaving the childhood nest is not family estrangement. the love and respect with which the adult child leaves by their own choice is far more important than whether or not they ever return to that childhood nest. i have another son who was killed in a car wreck in september, 2019. grieving his death feels far different than the estrangement of his brother.
 

Dolce

Learning
Can I ask - and forgive me if I've asked you this before, I can't recall - is moving away from the area you live in currently an option at all? I know moving as an adult is NOT easy, under almost any circumstances...and so I don't mean to suggest, "just move" as if it's a simple solution.

But you do deserve to live your day-to-day without being in fear for your physical safety.

And, you deserve to have the space to do some mental healing. Because you're right, just living in the same town where the trauma occurred is an extremely difficult thing to do, even if a person isn't seeing the others who are involved in a regular way. You're having to encounter family members regularly and without warning - that's a heavy stress load. Trying to find recovery while living in the middle of that is very, very hard to do.

Even a temporary move, something where you could get away for a year. six months. Is leaving something that has too many barriers, or would it help to brainstorm about ways you might be able to shift the environment, so you can get some respite (even temporary)?
Yes I would love to move. I do have barriers to this. I am trying to move within even my region very very hard! I am looking into housing helps. As far as a further move. I think that would be tremendous for my safety physically mentally and legally. But yes my Mom also stalked me. I am not a long distance driver.
I don't have ppl to help me move in town maybe idk let alone long distance. I do think it would be good better if my Mom didn't know my address and I would HOPE after hard work for years that I wouldn't cave and give it to her in my 50s in a year or two. She didn't earn it. I had to kind of flee to this apt too. I had help from a man I met on CL. I had and have sort of a lot of property. This holds me back. I wish I had less stuff could throw my stuff in an SUV and easily Move. I don't know how to do that. I feel not independent that way. I don't have good landlords either and a literal crack in the foundation that I finally spoke up about and they are finally doing something about. I pay 1325 a month. There are many bad memories here. I always did better in cities. There are none very close by. I mean Philly is hours away so is Harrisburg. My drs are here. I mean if there was a way and it is something I would like to do. I am decluttering all the time as best I can. I had to take in stuff. My Mom gave me stuff heavy stuff I didn't even want incl a sled my PapPap painted with my name on it knowing I am in a temp apt. I think that was a statement to me but I have reduced my amt of stuff. I still think I need a 3 bdrm apt at this pt. I will keep decluttering I guess. Thanks for the advice and I do have a heavy stress load and I would love to move. I am trying w/in my town too. Oh I am also in recovery meaning I am trying not to drink and haven't in a week despite the stress I am under. I know it was bad for me not a good coping mechanism....making me sick and not helping me stay strong which I need very much right now. I would like some fresh horizons though. Thank you.
 

caroline_13

Confident
If this gets moved to "trauma diaries" Ill try not to take it personally. My writing style I guess goes that way so I am not sure where to post but this does relate to hypervigilance. It's something that's HAD to become a part of my life so yeah I had PTSD before from abuse but now I have to be hypevigilant thanks to my Mother. I have said it before. She put a PFA on me ( the abused)...and some ppl wonder how that can happen but it can. Some abusive ppl can even abuse ppl through the courts. She did this after physical and pscyh assault on me a few years ago. I saw my sister yesterday with her nephew. My Mom actually covered her in the thing....didn't have to give reason or maybe the judge didn't even look at that. I am thinking he didn't. She's covered and the whole thing is very unfair b/c I was abused and even stalked by my Mother 3 1/2 months ago on all days Valentines Day in a parking lot. Also my near run in with my 1/2 sister was in a Panera parking lot. My Mom covered her to cut off contact to silence me that's it...but what if I had run into my Sister?

It was very close and my instinct b/c I don't harbor terrible ill will to her or I would say even ill will would be to say hi. Thing is simply saying hi right now...could land me in Jail. I didn't deserve this. PFAs have little due process and I could say more they can be used for good and I had a temp PFA on her stepdad. I had the might of my Mom and her throwing the kitchen sink and my childhood at me at the second date of my hearing. The effects of this are still lasting in that I a good person, a law abiding person and the actual serious victim of many forms of DV, all of them has to be hypervigilant....always on the lookout for my Moms car so I don't run into her and or SHE doesn't follow me or park right behind me as she did. She feels emboldened over recent years to do things way over the line including file the thing she did w/o good cause. She did it in response to watching her husband put me into a wall.

She did it two days after I was in the ER for this. I saw my Sister and I don't think she saw me and this is sad and a shameful position I am in, one I didn't earn...with life altering consequences. She looked happy carefree...pretty younger than me. Ppl have wondered if I was in my 60s recently I think rather than my albeit ripe age of 48 almost 49. Ppl say make it on your own put this behind you..and easy for them to say when they don't have life altering labels put on them when they were not the abuser quite the opposite. It hurts to the core. If I had seen my Sister I would have wanted to say hi and I should be able to but I can't. My Mother took that and many things incl alot of dignity away from me. I have to be on lookout all the time. I have no crim record my Mom said I never threatened her but she worried what could maybe happen....this coming from a woman who defended an abuser to me and in open court and threatened to put a raw turkey on my stoop and pretends to be the victim and a nice person in her community. She says she gets along w other fam members. Yeah my Sis was my abusers child and the "golden child"...not that i was a bad one but I was called this my whole life and also in court at the age of 46. Advice? I am a little more than 1/2 way through this my psycho biology as one person had called it has changed now forever from the repeated trauma and blame for what happened to me even officially and having to look over my shoulder like a well like a fugitive. I am not that I never was that. My Mothers husband was a 50 year old drinking while driving physically abusive and worse teacher. No one helped me. I guess I have to cont to try and live my life it really gets me down and I have to unfortunately and undeservedly stay hypervigilant as the abused who is labeled as other as sometimes or maybe often happens b/c it's easier...it's the cowards way. I have to look over my shoulder so as to not get myself in trouble for saying hi or being in same places...my civil rights impinged...for a pedeophile....

one who is dead but his wake of destruction alive and well. How a Mother does this and feels good is beyond me but I do suppose it's easier than looking in at the ugly truth....one that I mentioned...and that in her eyes was a crime. One I have paid dearly for and shouldn't have like this....as the only DV victim who tried to make sense in that family. This may get moved and that's ok. I have a run on sentence style of writing...and the pain is palpable today. The last time I saw my Sister was at the first hearing which go a continuance thanks to me. I get not any credit for my smarts from family lawyers alot of ppl. I don't fit traditional molds in a very small and small minded town where folks are supposed to be part of families or have them at my age. I am completely alone and vulnerable. My family knew this and it made it easy for them to abuse me.
Sounds like you're stuck in that small town.
 

Dolce

Learning
Sounds like you're stuck in that small town.
Very much so I am trying to move w all my might even within my town. Have lots of "stuff" this also in part to my breakup w my Mom but yes I also had lots of stuff. I am trying very hard faltering at times dealing w an apt w a cracked foundation....was fighting for a rent credit didn't get that as of now did at least and my idea did get a hotel comped to me. B/c of the family fragmentation triangulation me being blamed for abuse that happened to me I have no one to call on depend on. I am glad I fought at least got my landlords to comp a hotel room my choice of one that was my idea from last wknd. I have to manage so much and I do not get alot of credit for that. I was labeled dependent on others which....to some degrees maybe I was and maybe in some ways it was fostered that way. I don't know.
Then I was totally literally scapegoated and idk banished for good I guess w not very good cause other than damage to the "family pride". Yes I have been stuck and yes I have been fighting alone for years. It is a small boring and super expensive town w crap landlords incl mine. I can be proud they put me in a hotel of my choice I guess....I have to prepare for being out of my apt soon. I wish moving was an option out of town and a proposition that could happen soon. With the sabotages that happened to me and the landlords etc cracks in foundation I am maybe lucky I have persevered as I have but I do want more than that. Ok thanks.
 

caroline_13

Confident
You will ge
Very much so I am trying to move w all my might even within my town. Have lots of "stuff" this also in part to my breakup w my Mom but yes I also had lots of stuff. I am trying very hard faltering at times dealing w an apt w a cracked foundation....was fighting for a rent credit didn't get that as of now did at least and my idea did get a hotel comped to me. B/c of the family fragmentation triangulation me being blamed for abuse that happened to me I have no one to call on depend on. I am glad I fought at least got my landlords to comp a hotel room my choice of one that was my idea from last wknd. I have to manage so much and I do not get alot of credit for that. I was labeled dependent on others which....to some degrees maybe I was and maybe in some ways it was fostered that way. I don't know.
Then I was totally literally scapegoated and idk banished for good I guess w not very good cause other than damage to the "family pride". Yes I have been stuck and yes I have been fighting alone for years. It is a small boring and super expensive town w crap landlords incl mine. I can be proud they put me in a hotel of my choice I guess....I have to prepare for being out of my apt soon. I wish moving was an option out of town and a proposition that could happen soon. With the sabotages that happened to me and the landlords etc cracks in foundation I am maybe lucky I have persevered as I have but I do want more than that. Ok thanks.
You will get to a better place. Sounds like you realize what happened to you was not your fault, yet you are still allowing yourself to see areas where you can improve. That takes maturity.
 
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