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  • amelia posted an update in the group Group logo of Open Topic Family Support - Primary Community ForumOpen Topic Family Support 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    Just writing a note here because I might forget, I’d like to request if at some point we could please review/discuss/share about how to be in relationship with parents who are in denial of their hoarding disorder (dad) & behavior (mom), when it crippled your sense of identity as a child and in many ways even until now? How does one honor oneself and authentically courageously speak one’s truth, while at the same time being considerate of the good qualities your parents have too, the many sacrifices they made to give you life and raise you, the ways they love you that they are capable of (whether they meet your needs or not), the fact they may not have capability to gain awareness of their disorder and its impact on themselves and others, and may never change? Is there a way to keep the baby and not the bath water? Or not? And what if your parents never ever even recognize the most emotionally violent experience you’ve had in your entire life, that came from them? (whether they do anything about it or not) How does one find peace? Thanks

    • You know they saying, “seek and eye shall find” ? My experience is the opposite. I know that isn’t helpful, but the harder I tried with my mother the less I accomplished… only by detaching, mostly through physical distance which creates emotional distance, I gained perspective, without “trying”. I know that doesn’t help when you want something, especially change… Hopefully Marnie has better advice. Did you check out the Neziroglu & Donnelly, Children of Hoarders? I think they speak to a lot of this in terms of communicating and interacting with parents, maybe less in terms of reorienting yourself…

    • I might add for now, forget about them and honor yourself. When you feel your needs are met, by you, elsewhere, maybe then you can worry about theirs but it sounds like they have crowded you out for a long time and it is your turn now 🙂

      • my mother does not recognize anything. and I feel a lot of peace, or a lot more than I once did. I am not my mother. She is not me. Her recognition no longer matters to me. I don’t need her to recognize she has a problem or that she hurt me and still does. I don’t know why/how that shift occurred bc I once wanted my parents to get it. I’m guessing it changed when I started taking care of myself. You don’t need their permission to take care of your own needs and when your needs are met, maybe that is when we are free to stop wanting them to see us and get it? That’s my best explanation.

        • That is powerful and so important for others that are still struggling with acceptance and placing responsibilities.

          • The trouble is that I never would have said I was “waiting for permission” I didn’t feel like I was, or that I needed it, but I was waiting on my mother for something… I thought it had something to do with her/us … it did, once… but I got sick of waiting and I just left her behind. and then things got better… It sounds kinda harsh and that’s why I was talking about the emotional violence before… I don’t feel coldly toward her but I just couldn’t keep waiting for something that was never coming and when I was ok with that, with giving up on her, and giving myself permission to be ok, even when she wasn’t, then I was ok. I wasn’t “waiting for permission” but when something happened about the guilt and I got/gave myself permission, it got better… but I don’t think I could have done that no matter how hard I “tried”, it fell into place, I was “ready” but if someone told me to be patient and wait until I was ready, it probably would have made me more impatient and angry, bc I certainly wanted to ‘move on” I wanted change, but something wasn’t ready, until it clicked and I was… I wanted to speed up that process, a formula, a fix, but it happened when it happened… I feel like that is so unhelpful when you don’t want to be struggling, you are tired, and seeking relief, but that was my experience…

          • Maybe a less cold sounding version is that I realized there was no “us” there was me taking care of her, there was a big, often suffocating HER, but there was no us. I’d always been coping on my own. I could me me taking care of her and taking care of me, or I could be me taking care of her and neglecting me, but either way it was really all on me, so I guess that was part of the shift that let me stop ‘waiting’… I never thought she was going to change, so I don’t really know what I was “waiting” for but I have a long history of wasting time “waiting for people to come around”. i’d Like to think I’m done with that but it seems unlikely I won’t catch myself doing it again…