So I’ve been chipping through some hand written journaling to post here. It’s a slow process. There are about 8 pages, sitting to the left of me right now, half of which I’ve transcribed and have sitting in a draft post.
I have been struggling to write commentary because I’m not sure of the time line of when I wrote those things. It looks like it was at the beginning of the chaos and confusion. But I also remember some of those things coming up in the midst and then some may have been ongoing, until I finally just gave up and accepted my assumed role.
I think it was actually at the point when I found myself feeling the need to defend myself, just before jumping in to please everyone, because the (what I thought were) friendly conversations about the situation, turned into attacks from each corner of a triangle. My brother, mother and sister.
What I’d done is write down a bunch of points I wanted to cover and talk about to someone, most likely my mother, as I addressed both my brother and sister in the third person in my “script.”
There is one telling thing that pretty much gives away the approximate time line and that I was writing these points out to confront my mother. This had to do with my availability through each week that I’d planned to present to her. It had to have been after the initial call I’d gotten from her. The one where she’d guilted and shamed me about my reluctance to “step up.” The one where she threw an ultimatum at me to “step up” or walk away. The one where she blatantly let me know that it was my responsibility because he was my father. The one where she was clear on how she was exempt from any real responsibility because she wasn’t married to him anymore. The one where by the end of the call, I was agreeing to think about my availability and when I could be there with my father.
She’d blind-sided me as well because I could tell by what my mother had said, that my sister had likely called to complain that I was not “complying.”
There were plenty of indications from what my mother said to me when she called. I also know enough now about how my sister and mother triangulated against me. I understand much more about that type of manipulation now than I did then. In addition, there was a past incident of my sister and mother triangulating against me, that helped me piece it together, after I’d come out of the fog of so much gas-lighting throughout the period that followed.
Thing is during the phone conversation with my sister, we both talked about how we didn’t want to be nurse to our father full time. My sister told me that she wanted to get my brother to back off a little* from spending so much time over there and needed me on board with that**, so that our father would be more open to the idea of getting home health aids to help him out.
My sister and I hung the fuck up in agreement. She was even the one to repeat the whole premise before ending the conversation. “So neither one of us is available full time to take care of dad.”
And the next thing I know, I’m getting a phone call from my mother shaming me for not being willing to “step up” to care for my father.
I was so busy defending myself, while also feeling that guilt and shame she was dumping on me, that I didn’t even think about that conversation with my sister.
My mother gave me the ultimatum during that conversation with her, to either “step up” or walk away.
My brother had already given me the same sort of shame spiel about a week before I got it from my mother and in that phone call with him, he also gave me that ultimatum. His came across a bit friendlier though although such an ultimatum is not friendly at all. However, there was no pressure to actually “step up” from him. Well, unless you consider the ultimatum being pressure and it was. But I don’t know, he was letting go, letting me decide, at least at that point. He wasn’t always so passive and has rage issues that he demonstrated on me. But this particular thing, in the beginning, he just waited. My mother and sister were hell bent on twisting me in nasty ways to their wishes.
Later, I had an additional “conversation” with my sister again and she was all over my shit for not “stepping up” and handing out more guilt and shame. Speaking at me with a condescending tone and telling me all about how awful my character is.
I’ve gotten into the detail of that conversation before on this blog, so I’ll spare you (and me) the repeat.
This is pretty much an intro to the next 8 or so written pages I want to transcribe and add some commentary to.
The plan is to write out each point as its own post and add commentary to each one. I think each post will have the same name and broken down into parts.
I’ll see how it goes. I only know that with starting to type it all out, one post was too much. Too long.
This is also therapy, so bear with me. It might take a bit to get it all out. The plan is to get it out quickly, but we all know what happens when we’re making plans. I also have other things I want to do and other things that I need to do that are not blog related. So it will likely take some time.
I know I tend to ramble, but that’s because there seems to be so much to all of this. One piece leads to the next. And there are layers to it. I just don’t know how to organize it all when I write it out. Although I’ve told parts of this before, some things have come up that I’d forgotten about. I certainly forgot about writing these points to present to my mother, like some script I needed so that I could stand up for myself to a point. So that I wouldn’t forget anything.
The reality is that I was explaining…over-explaining myself to try to make others understand that I am not such a bad person, just because I was reluctant to ‘step up’ and care for my father on all their terms.
I shake my head and even cringe with disbelief in writing and then reading some of this, particularly the total 180 turn around, from agreement from my sister to being beaten down and treated like dirt. Cornered, essentially.
Anyway, stay tuned…to be continued.
*Notice the control type language there. She wanted to “get my brother” to do something, to be a certain way, to behave in a way that she wanted him to.
**She also “needed me on board.” Triangulating language. Her main choice of manipulation it seems.
Edit: I’ve decided to make a a whole different category for these pages I’m transcribing called Series: Stepping Up to be Abused.” I started to include links at the end of each post, to lead back to the previous posts. I’ll leave the ones I already have up but I won’t continue with that. It’s too much work. Instead, it’s just as easy to refer to the category in the sidebar.