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Writing a letter to my dead mother

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Posted

;) I'm just getting into deep and painful therapy for my PTSD. I have been too suicidal before now. My mother was a very screwed up person. Manipulative pitiful, frightening and abusive. She tried to drown my two siblings. If she tried to drown me, it is too deeply buried, tho' I don't thinks so. She was all Jeckle and Hyde. I don't know what they were, likely valium or opium, of some kind, but she had her "mommy be good" pills that she would take and she would switch from abusive to just not there. She ruled my life with terror and a mad desire to win her love for 36 years. I can't deal with the details right now. She was awful and terrible and I still felt sorry for her and wanted her to love me. I wanted her to be happy. I feel like such a sucker.

Has anyone else written a "letter" to someone who was instermental in the wreckage of thier lives? has any one elses tdoc asked them to write a letter to ones abuser(s)?

Just curious...She expects me to hand it to her Thursday and I'm completely freaking and insomniac and having hella flashbacks

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Posted

First of all, I'm deeply sorry you experenced such unspeakable hell.

And true hell it was - and continues into the present.

It's amazing you're not a complete basket case, I wonder about your siblings. Amazing to me too that you have any compassion for her at all.

As for the letter, I think if you're ever going to free yourself of these demons - yeah, you have to get at them somehow.

A letter seems like it might be a good idea. Eventually. Maybe, from what you describe, only written under very controlled conditions - more than just a week's homework assignment. From all the symptoms you're describing, it is just way too early.

Hope tdoc will understand and let up the pressure. Doesn't sound good for you at all. I doubt you could even write a coherent letter. Don't forget you can "just say no" ("I'm not ready").

How long you been seing this therapist? Any possibiity she doesn't sense how deep this goes and how much it rattles you to the core of your being? Someone who's been thru as much as you have, is only functioning with a lot of props and adjustments. You can't throw down all your crutches at once even if your eventual goal is walking - or you will fall.

A member here named Mack, wrote a letter (don't think he ever sent it) to his - still living - grandmother who abused him , though far less violent and overtly crazy abuse as yours. (She raised him). You might want to PM him and ask to see his letter.

It might be accessible on his present Springer thread which is a continuation of the old one. Of course, the narrative of her abuse would need to be read as background. She was a real sick, weird, evil old bitch with nothing redeeming about her. Responsible for several deaths through emotional abuse. (Not disclosing anything not on his public thread).

Much good luck, Panz - to your whole family.

rt

PS Amazon has some very good books out about terrible abuse and trauma suffered by children of schizophrenic mothers, and there are another two I'm going to look up soon, by young men brought up under situtions of emotional torture such as yours, though different. If I find them, I'll PM you. A book called "Toxic parents" might also help.

They survived - wth massive scars, true. One of their methods of healing was eventually telling their stories.

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Posted

Has anyone else written a "letter" to someone who was instermental in the wreckage of thier lives? has any one elses tdoc asked them to write a letter to ones abuser(s)?

Just curious...She expects me to hand it to her Thursday and I'm completely freaking and insomniac and having hella flashbacks

I wrote a real letter to my parents explaining why I became even more acutely depressed and suicidal every time I had contact with them and that I needed to not have any contact with them. I sent it, and after several years of mostly silence, we are gradually creating a relationship again.

As for the reaction you're having, the point of the exercise is to help you get out and then deal with the things that happened and the emotions involved. The point is not necessarily to produce an actual letter, it's to deal with what's inside you. So when you see your therapist, talk about these things. Also, your therapist is not expecting the 'great American novel' out of the first draft of this letter, write it however you want: short or long, sarcastic, whatever, this is really for you.

Fiona

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Posted

Hello Panz.

When I was inpatient (after failed suicide) my tdoc and

psyc team asked that I write a letter to each of my parents.

My father had died about 6 months earlier, but my mom

is still alive.

From what you've written, it sounds as though my mother

has much in common with yours. No pills for mine tho.

I didn't get far with the letter, and I hated having to write

it. But tdoc was happy I started and talked through what

I had written. It was the beginning of working through all the

shit. It's been 15 years and I thought I was past all of it

--- at least able to deal with it --- but alas, my past with her

still wreaks havok on my psyc.

The letter to my dad -- who I had adored -- ended up

being filled with anger at him for dying and leaving me

alone with the screwed up bitch. I cried the entire time.

I never realized the anger I held.

The letters are a beginning. A place to start organizing

your thoughts and maybe discover something new about

yourself. I think writing the letter makes it real. It gets

the thoughts out of your head and on paper.

I'm so sorry for the pain you've had in your life.

I hope the letter will be helpful for you.

Peace.

Sandy

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Posted

I've written COUNTLESS letters to people, dead and alive, who have impacted me in every kind of way. for me, it helps get a lot out. Try it.

Best of luck.

loon

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Posted

Letters can work for the reasons mentioned above. I have suggested to many peopple to write letters but I prefer the method of writing the letter to get everything out of your system, so to speak, but instead of sending the letters to do something ritualistic like wadding it up and brurning or attaching the letter to a rock and throw it in a body of water.

Do as I say not as I do, I guess, because I can't follow my own advice. I have been asked to write a few letters and then had to read them to my pdoc, for me the exercise wasn't effective but I was fighting the idea and didn't want to share my real thoughts with my pdoc who was new to me at the time.

Timing may be important for you. Repeating what others have said, think about it, talk to your tdoc, no reason why the "home work" has to have such a early deadline.

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Posted

Thank all of you for your insight and encouragement. it has really helped me open up to the task and maybe I

ll gain a handle on my issues this way

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Posted

I've written letters to people like my dead dad- even one posted on this board. it is healthy. i'd say go for it if you're up to it. remember all the good things and keep the bad in perspective. we're only human.

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Posted (edited)

I've written letters to people like my dead dad- even one posted on this board. it is healthy. i'd say go for it if you're up to it. remember all the good things and keep the bad in perspective. we're only human.

I think Loon's idea about posting letters here is a good one. There's something about seeing your letter in print, especially on line (which has a kind of message in a bottle feel to it) that makes it more real. The World Wide Web might even extend to the after Life. I know a Mental Health site where they offer a forum for this. It's one of the most active. (Many of the letters are heart-breaking stories of regret' others explode with rage, especially those from survivors of abuse).

Although I haven't used it, I can see how it could be much more cathartic than just burning a letter or "sending" it in some other ceremony.

I considered (for about two seconds) posting this in New Boards' requests forum, but I think this is NOT a good time in the life of CB to make requests/suggestions.

In any case, I do second posting such letters in a thread (or choosing an existing forum where it relates). It could be done as an anonymous "guest poster". Even my other active forum (I alternate) has had anonymous threads about sensitive issues. One was to ask for advice about a serious ethical decision with legal overtones. In the other, a long-time member announced a fatal illness. Didn't want to attach his name yet (if ever). Worked well both times. (That forum BTW is not very personal. For one thing, members visit one another, have RL parties, even send collective baby gifts. Reminds me, I'm late with a contribution. :embarassed: )

rt

PS I guess you all know about the two famous programs actually conducted through the USPS (not including "letters to Santa" ;) ). Postcard only. One accepts confessions and one is to tell a secret. The second (to include a picture) is more the art than the writing.

http://postsecret.blogspot.com/.

Selected secrets postcards are posted online and the idea originator has already made them into books. They're funny, touching, some shocking.

Edited by realitytest

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Posted

It is being an ongoing thing for me. At the moment I'm having the best luck with free association. Having horendous flashbacks and memories, I don't even know that they are real. I have no family member to ask who would tell me the truth.... I don't really know what else to say about it...I think in the long run that it is being a thereaputic thing, but DAMN, it hurts...or worse I spend whole parts of time in the dissociation/Away place...been there most of the day. I want you all to know that you are more close to a clan or family than anything genetic. Thank you all for being here ;)

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Posted

reading & offering sympathy.

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