Complexities of a family..

My parents celebrate their golden wedding anniversary next week. A smart lunch at a country house.

Today’s question, “Will she or won’t she attend?” I know that the answer has been no for several weeks. However her mind can be changed, subject to the condition that her father also attends.

This evening my parents are going to discuss what may change her mind with her and her brother. They have been forewarned that this is an option and this option has thrown my mother into a spin. On the one hand she doesn’t want my ex present but, she is desperate for my daughter to attend.

I know the reason my daughter won’t attend is as a result of the relationship she has with my ex. Although she obviously believes it is because she hates me and wants nothing to do with me. My son feels that there is no reason why my ex shouldn’t attend as he is their father!! He told me this whilst chatting with me and was kind when I tried to explain it was not my choice but my parents’.

I have swallowed my own feelings and offered my parents carte blanche to do what they feel is most appropriate. I have said it makes no difference to me. I will wait and see but can’t help feeling that the power he held over me during our 24 year relationship still exists.

Jamie Lawson’s whole album says so much , this one particularly.

 

 

She becomes an adult…

My daughter is 18 years old this week. It is 18 months since she decided to shut me out of her life completely.

During that time my son has returned, he has seen through the fog created in their home and has navigated a way between the rock and the hard place. He fills me with joy with every conversation text or call. He challenges my thoughts, which gives an insight into how fragile his lack of alignment is.

I am “not allowed” to send a birthday card due to the instructions and threats I have received in relation to the suggestion.

“You are the reason her mental health is like this, don’t make it worse.”

“If you send it you will risk her chances of speaking to you further.”

“If you send that card after what Dad has explained then you are not listening to me.”

My current thinking is that I will give the card to her brother and he can decide when she receives it. Because she then can’t say I didn’t bother. i continue to step on eggshells around the pair of them for fear of making the situation worse. But, how can it be worse? My own daughter wants nothing to do with me as a result of the bitterness and insecurities of the man I married.

Happy birthday my darling girl, know that I will always be here for you, waiting. There is nothing to forgive, just love to receive. Please have the strength to leave home and learn that you are not responsible for how your father feels.

I love you ❤ ❤ Mum x

 

 

 

 

But…

I don’t hold out much hope of getting to see any of her drama at all. My son left semi-angry with me yesterday.

I haven’t chosen this level of animosity between our family. I would do almost anything to make it better.

I am about to receive a therapy called EMDR. I hope it will help me with the level of emotion I’m running. Its quite sad to think that a divorce could cause this trauma….

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a rapid and effective way of treating trauma.  The reason it is so effective is because it is based on a natural healing ability whereby the mind heals itself during sleep, most notably during rapid eye movement.  Francine Shapiro developed EMDR in 1987 using this natural process in order to successfully treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Since then, it has been used as an effective treatment for a wide range of mental health problems.

When an individual is traumatised by an overwhelming event (e.g. an assault) or by repeatedly being subjected to distress (e.g. domestic violence), the natural coping mechanism becomes overloaded.  This can result in disturbing experiences remaining frozen in the brain or being “unprocessed”.

These unprocessed memories and feelings are stored in the limbic system of your brain in a “raw” and emotional form, rather than in a verbal “story” mode.  The limbic system maintains traumatic memories in an isolated memory network that is associated with emotions and physical sensations, which are disconnected from the brain’s cortex where language can be used to store memories.

The limbic system’s traumatic memories can be continually triggered when the individual then experiences situations that are similar to the original event.  Often the memory itself is long forgotten, but the painful feelings such as anxiety, panic, despair, or anger are continually triggered in the present.  The individual’s ability to live in the present and learn from new experiences can therefore become inhibited.  EMDR works by restoring the connections between the brain’s memory networks, enabling the brain to process the traumatic memory in a very natural way.

The EMDR technique helps to change the memory in such a way that it loses its painful intensity and becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past.  And, like a domino effect, other associated memories may also heal at the same time.  This linking of related memories can lead to dramatic improvements in many aspects of your life.  People experience EMDR as being a very empowering therapy because the new connections and insights are felt to arise quite naturally from within.

The validity and reliability of EMDR has been established by rigorous research.  There are now nineteen controlled studies into EMDR making it the most thoroughly researched method used in the treatment of trauma, and it is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an effective treatment for PTSD.

Good luck

written on sunday in my head………

I’d love to come and see your drama production this afternoon. I understand that it is your AS practical exam. I know you will have been working on it for weeks.

I hope all goes well. I have asked your brother, via text, if he is intending to watch and he has said he and dad are. I have asked him to video it if he has any opportunity. He has said he will try.

Easter 2015

I’ve just seen my 18yr old son for 10 minutes. This is the first time since February. He visited my home (less than 50m from his) to collect an easter egg for himself and his sister, at my request. He was delighted to see the dog, who he hasn’t seen since January. Her delight in seeing him was clear. She didn’t stop wagging her tail or sneezing (a sign she is smiling as she sneezes every time she smiles) the whole time he was here.

He said he couldn’t stay, he said he had been asked to refuse anything I wanted to send for his sister, I asked him to have it himself or give it to his father.

He also said, as I gripped him hard in tears, that he loves me, “and so does my sister even though she can’t show it at the moment”. He then added that if she didn’t get in such a state every time I was discussed he would choose to see me more.

Each step towards them is so small, each bank holiday is SO PAINFUL. On Sunday my two children are joining my parents, brother, cousin and their families to celebrate time together over Easter. I can’t be there, because they won’t go if I do and I want them to see as much of my family as they possibly can. This is the only way there is a chance that the alienation will be broken through.

I have plans that I would change at a moment’s notice if I thought it could help. I won’t need to.

Previous easters we have had mass Easter egg hunts, we’ve visited farms for baby animal experiences, we’ve had so much chocolate it wasn’t eaten until almost christmas. Family walks, big lunches, joy and laughter. The memories are there but I want the real thing……

Bob Dylan/Adele – someone like you

“Make You Feel My Love”

When the rain is blowing in your face,
And the whole world is on your case,
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love.When the evening shadows and the stars appear,
And there is no one there to dry your tears,
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love.

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet,
But I will never do you wrong.
I’ve known it from the moment that we met,
No doubt in my mind where you belong.

I’d go hungry; I’d go black and blue,
And I’d go crawling down the avenue.
No, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love.

The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret.
The winds of change are blowing wild and free,
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet.

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true.
Nothing that I wouldn’t do.
Go to the ends of the Earth for you,
To make you feel my love
To make you feel my love

Rumer – take me as I am….

“Take Me As I Am”

Is there a place where all that I’ve lost
Will be returned to me?
And is there a day the souls that I pray to
Are coming back for me?Don’t tell me it’s all right
It’ll never be all right
Why don’t you come, why don’t you come back?
I need a love that’s unconditional
Why don’t you try to understand?
Why don’t you come, why don’t you come back?
If this love is unconditional, why don’t you take me as I am?
Just take me as I am

The love that I seek, is it hidden beneath
A wound that won’t bleed?
Look, is there something you want?
Is there something you need from me?
‘Cause I tell you now, these hands are empty
And it aches in my bones to be here on my own without it
Watching the love that I’m craving
Getting further away from all that I wanted

So don’t tell me it’s all right now
It’ll never be all right
Why don’t you come, why don’t you come back?
I need a love that’s unconditional
Why don’t you try to understand?
Why don’t you come, why don’t you come back?
If this love is unconditional, why don’t you take me as I am?
Just take me as I am

If you look in my eyes, you’ll see
Sorrow rising and falling
Oh, ’cause the love that I’m craving’s getting
Further away from all that I wanted

Mothering Sunday is painful

Yesterday was my fourth Mothering Sunday as a separated parent.

The first, just two months in, was sort of OK, I saw both of my children.

The second was strained but both of them saw me; my daughter refused to speak to me all day and practically threw the most beautiful canvas (she had painted for me) at me. It said “sometimes I don’t show it and sometimes I do but inside I will always love you”. She lived with me at the time, her older brother now 18 has not lived with me since day one of being apart. (I only realised the alienation had started before we were separate after reading Karen’s blog about the alienated parent (https://karenwoodall.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/i-am-the-alienated-parent/ ).

Last year I didn’t get a card but I think I received a message from one of them – I chose not to sit in and wait “just in case” and was accused of not bothering.

Yesterday I waited all day, I saw my mum, my daughter saw my mum (thank goodness). My ex went to Spain for the weekend with friends leaving my 16yr old to fend for herself. “She has food and contacts, she will be fine…” I heard nothing from either of them, all day, not a card, a text, a smiley face, a call, a knock. I smiled at the joy of all the other mums (Why did I even look at facebook?) I knew it would be like that, but I don’t feel envy for those mums but sadness for my two babies, unable to bring themselves to make contact. They must have suffered all day…

I did miss one call, as I was out briefly when I knew my daughter was at my mum’s, it was a card from the family of a good friend who died several years ago. I have worked really hard to provide her three children with support and to facilitate their grief. The card came signed with love from “your other family” my friend’s parents, siblings and children. It was beautiful, but you will hopefully understand when I say, “not enough to make be feel better”.

Today I have attended a long meeting with my divorce solicitor, who was interested and worried by my children’s response to this family separation. I printed the three descriptive blogs of parent, child (https://karenwoodall.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/i-am-an-alienated-child/ ) and alienator (https://karenwoodall.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/i-am-the-alienator/ ). Perhaps my barrister can use it in court?

The sheer emotion and anxiety of the last 24 hours has left me drained, sleepless, nauseated, with heavy palpitations and excessive tears. I’ve even lost my appetite – a first!!

Hopefully next year it will be different, or the next…

lent

I don’t want to give up my children for lent, I did dry January so I don’t want to give up alcohol either. I think I will give up negativity as much as I possibly can I will try and be positive about my situation.

Day 1   I sapped (whatsApp) my boy and he replied. I told him I loved him and he replied with I love you too. Is this because at Uni he is out of his father’s grasp and can appreciate that I truly do love him and his sister? I am happy for me and happy that he isn’t having negative thoughts about me today. I had pancakes yesterday, the boy will have them today as he was doing uni work yesterday.

I had a great day  yesterday with the seven year old daughter of a friend. She came to my house whilst her mum was out. We shopped, walked the dog, made and tossed and ate pancakes and posted our pancake selfie on facebook! She told me she had had the best day! (Without being prompted by anyone…)

At the moment I have to accept that my own piglets do not want to be with me, see me, maintain contact with me, call me or reply to my efforts because I am awful, terrifying, dangerous or any other negative attribute. It is because of the feelings and responses to their father’s inappropriate emotional abuse.

Yet again I look up to my kitchen wall and read:

Always remember:

You are braver than you believe

Stronger than you seem

Smarter than you think

And

Twice as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined.

Some days it is hard but 40 days without negativity might help me believe I can do this and I am worthy of a relationship with my piglets.