How my mother portrays “reality” versus actual reality

Sunday afternoon, I received a text message from a friend back from my old life (one of only two that I remain in contact with).  At the end of the text, she asked me if I had called my father.  Apparently my mother had told my friend how my father was oh so worried about me, oh so concerned, and how he was counting the weeks and worried that I wasn’t going to be coming back home.

There were so many things wrong with this situation.  In fact, let me use bullet points.

  • Why is my mother mentioning my father’s worry and concern and not hers? Answer: Because my mother knows that I know she doesn’t have feelings.
  • If my father was so worried and concerned, wouldn’t he have reached out? Answer: He has my cell phone number.  I haven’t blocked him.  I have not once received one phone call or one text message from him in the six weeks I’ve been gone.
  • Why is my mother telling this person this? Answer: Because this is the one person she has continued to manipulate, despite my efforts to show this person my mother’s true colors.  My mother also more than likely knows that this person keeps in contact with me, and knows it’s her only way to get through to me to try to manipulate me still.  Even a distance away, this woman will still try to fuck with my life.  She knows what she is doing.  She has been doing this for 29 years of my life.  She lives and breathes manipulation likes it’s necessary for survival.  My friend is just an unfortunate pawn in my mother’s game.

I immediately became overwhelmed with feelings upon reading the text.  I responded that my father had my number and had not made an effort to reach out, so I doubt that there was any genuine concern for me.  I continued to tell her that I do not trust anyone in my family, that they haven’t cared about me for the last 29 years so why would they start now?  Her response showed me that she didn’t understand where I was coming from at all.  My heart sank.  I responded “they can find someone else to abuse” and I just stopped responding after that.  Now I’m left questioning whether the relationship is worth fighting for.  As much as I love her, she doesn’t see my mother for the monster she really is; she still falls for my mother’s manipulation.  I can’t risk all the progress I’ve made on a relationship that may put that in jeopardy.

It’s not like I blame my friend.  My mother is great at portraying her own version of reality versus what reality actually is.  To be clear, for my own sanity, I decided to verify with someone who had some inner knowledge if my father was indeed concerned or worried about me.  My suspicions of a complete lack of concern were confirmed.  The only thing my father is worried about is getting rid of my stuff.  So much concern, right?  It doesn’t sound at all like the father my mother was portraying in her story to my friend.  Maybe she just forgot to leave out a few (thousand) details.

My mother always has a story for everything.  When outsiders would question why I seemed so distant and unresponsive, my mother would tell them “oh, she’s just sensitive” or “fragile.”  The reality: I was a broken child, trained not to speak to outsiders and living in fear of nearly everyone and everything.  When doctors questioned why I had so many UTIs, she ‘d make up these elaborate stories.  The reality: things were in my vagina that should not have been there.  To add on to that, she’d also often switch doctors, to which she’d blame on insurance problems, yet I was the only one who had to change doctors so much.  In my adulthood, my mother would tell people I was Bipolar and had a lying disorder.  The reality: I was struggling with PTSD and beginning to open up about the CSA and MDSA, and she felt threatened.  By saying that I had a lying disorder, she protected herself by creating a veil of doubt over anything I said.

The scariest part is that she has always been so convincing.  Sometimes I wonder if she believes her stories are real.  She’s that good.  I can see why so many fall for her lies.  I think many in my own family have.  It’s unfortunate, but what can I do?  I guess the most important thing is that I know what reality REALLY is, and it’s NOT her reality.

4 thoughts on “How my mother portrays “reality” versus actual reality

  1. My parents also paraded my (alleged) Bipolar Disorder and “dramatic tendencies” around to prevent anyone from believing the “stories” I was telling about my home life (and I wasn’t even talking about the CSA). When I was first estranged from my family, I just ignored their calls/emails. Then I began to get annoyed with the peripheral friends and family that were still connected to them. I hated getting little snippets of information or having parts of my life revealed back to them. I also hated the way people still celebrated my parents as good people – it made me so angry! So eventually, about 18 months or so later, I changed my phone number entirely. The only person related to me that has that number is my cousin who is ALSO estranged from our family. My family has no idea where I live, where I work/go to school, or my number. I blocked them (and anyone associated with them) from social media and blocked their email addresses. It was hard and painful, but oh so worth it. It’s a bit like drawing the poison out of a snakebite.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My reply is to everyone on this page. No one will ever be able to understand your experiences with your families or why you have had to remove yourself from association with them and remain estranged. How could they, really? But attempting to facilitate contact is little different for encouraging a return from the quicksand you struggled so hard to get out of in the first place.

    If others are to remain in your lives, what they MUST accept, even if they don’t understand, are your boundaries. They must accept that what you say is true, that you don’t want to hear about those who hurt you or be expected to “understand” or engage with their feelings about forgiveness, concern and connection in any fashion, and that they cannot carry information about your lives today back to your abusers. NO exceptions if they really care about you and have your best interests at heart.

    “Forgive and forget” is simply not appropriate advice in all situations – “make peace with” is as good as it gets for some, and that is difficult enough. It does not automatically include reengaging, however difficult some may find that idea.

    Your first obligation is to yourSelves and your healing. Hopefully, some day you will be able to put a frame around your pasts that enables you to move forward without pain – but expecting you to attempt to understand your abusers (or ever feel kindly toward them) is, at best, an unintended cruelty toward you by others who are lacking empathy for you.

    My heart hurts for you all and my comment is extended with love, hoping to support you to trust your own best instincts about what – and who – you need in your lives on your journeys toward the peace of self-acceptance. My apologies for any unintended pain as you read my words.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

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