Help with a decision

Hey Fam :hrtlegolove:

So, I saw my psychiatrist yesterday and we got to talking about my mother and the questions I have about some things I remember as a child and am confused about.

Mostly, my questions revolve around neglect when I was very young…Like, at 4-5yrs old I somehow got out of the house and made it next door under a house that was being built. There was a man down there too and things didn’t end well. Instead of putting me in some type of therapy, I was just left to deal with my own confusion and if I wanted to talk about it then they would let me. I don’t think I did tho.

Or the jokes I heard growing up about how mom would notice I was gone only to find me at the old lady’s house up the street having tea. “Oh, it’s ok it was mostly milk” she would say to her friend later but…how did I get out and why did it take you so long to notice? Why did it happen more than once?

There are big gaps in my memory and I have no memory of this lady who I had tea with.

My doctor suggested that I write my mother a letter asking her my questions and also writing about some abandonment things as well.

Here are my fears about doing this…

All this happened 48-50yrs ago and my relationship with my parents is the best it’s been since I was a teenager. Will all that be ruined?

My father will probably disown me if my mother takes the letter badly.

I will hurt my mother who has spent the last couple years learning about BPD and being my biggest supporter.

What will happen to me if my parents abandon me for good?

Can I live without getting answers tho?

My doctor also suggested sending two letters. My questions and also one explaining that the letter she will read might really upset her and to be prepared. She could choose to read it or not.

I don’t know if I want to do this, but I sure do want answers.

Perhaps you lovely humans could give me some ideas on how to handle it or other ways to think about it. :rose:

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thank you for sharing this here, and opening it up for others’ with experience in doing something similar and also for getting new ideas/perspectives.

Could you write the letter as a sort of fill-in-the-gaps story? The way I’m seeing it, you write:
when i was 4-5, this is what I remember/was told happened?
I don’t remember much/any of this, could you help me with knowing my story by writing here what happened during this event or period of time?

Eg. Do you remember the tea lady. I often think about this story, but I am missing a lot of info, maybe because I was so young. Could you tell me here what you remember about this lady and why I would end up at her house? Why was it a place for me to wander off too? Were you aware that I was planning to go there?

This way you get the info, you don’t make it combative, and it could pave the way for opening discussion about big events where you still hold some scared memories, or your mother could explain what she remembers/deal with then.

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Those are good ideas on how to go about it, thank you.

I just have to figure out if this is something I really need to do or not. sigh…

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This is such a tough decision to make and I definitely don’t have any good advice. I just wanted to share that I can relate to not having memories, not knowing what happened, but your body tells you there went something wrong. From a therapeutic perspective, I don’t know how essential it was to be able to establish the link between events and the childhood trauma that resulted from them. For me it’s much easier to understand my beliefs about myself by relating these to things I do recall. However, when the traumatic experiences aren’t stored on a cognitive level, maybe work on an emotional level alone is at least conducive to healing? That’s just my thoughts on this though and I’m not a professional.

Maybe it was helpful to try as much as possible to see the situation from your mother’s perspective. I don’t know how it is for you, but I have at least some understanding of my mother’s mindset and I’d know in advance how she’d take certain formulations. Also, just asking more out of curiosity could be an approach. To my knowledge (and experience), parents tend to be very defensive of their parenting style and acknowledging mistakes isn’t really something they’re up to. So I totally understand your concerns.

I guess the trade-off is between how much it would be helping you in your healing journey versus the risk you put on the relationship, but as Sita said, it could also open a discussion and maybe even add more value to your relationship with your mother.

And also: Your mother/parents didn’t experience your childhood the same way as you did. So it might be they wouldn’t even get it?

Just my thoughts, sorry, I’m not more of a help for this.

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It was very helpful! :rose:

Asking out of curiosity is a great idea. Thank you!

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Hi Rosie :slightly_smiling_face:
This is a tough one. I know that the relationship with your parents is not ideal even though it has been better lately. It really depends on how important the answers to those questions are and how badly you want to know the truth. Dont get me wrong you have the right to know the truth and your parents should tell you but again its your parents and they are… well… the way they are. It is possible you might lose that relationship you have with them, however is a relationship where you wount get the answers to your past and traumas and even might get disowned because you want to know the truth, worth keeping? I know you love your mum but your father is an asshole. It is just something to think about. I would definitely consult this with your therapist more before making the final desicion but I know you will make the right one in the end :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks @Ashwell

I think waiting until I get placed with a talk therapist might be a good idea. Thanks for giving me that idea :rose: I think I have more to work out with this than I thought and talking it out more is probably a very good idea.

When my mother was going thru her cancer scare, my father told me not to bring my problems to her. That was something that really affected me in a really bad way. For over 10yrs I keeps my struggles away from her and suffered big time for that. I told her about that not too long ago and she was so angry with my father. I could have had the best cheerleader in my corner all that time.

Yes, my father is an asshole down to his core. I feel like he tries tho, but I honestly think most of the time it’s fake and I question if he even likes me. I’ll never forget sitting in a family counseling session when I was a teenager and hearing my father talk about how he wanted me to be a boy before I was born. I don’t think he even wanted a girl.

I’m going off on another topic here, so I’ll stop.

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