Wedding Woes

How do I squeeze blood from a turnip?

Dear Prudie,
When I was a girl between the ages of 11 and 16, my mom was in an abusive relationship with “Greg.” He has borderline personality disorder and was suicidal. Because he was a police officer he always had a gun nearby. I had to call the cops multiple times when he verbally lashed out at me and my mom. Once, when I was 14 years old, he was screaming at the top of his lungs, banging on my mother’s door while she hid, and I picked up the phone in my bedroom and dialed 911. They showed up, but nothing was done because he was a cop and knew these men from work. I’m now a 24-year-old living in a big city. I started seeing a therapist here almost two years ago because I was feeling depressed and was unhappy in my relationships. Through therapy, I began to realize that a lot of my pain might be coming from that abusive relationship in my youth. I recently brought up my struggle to my mother and told her that I needed her to admit what she did and say she was sorry in order for me to move on and have closure. She apologized, but it was followed with excuses for her actions. She played the victim, told me I was blowing things out of proportion, and said I’m ungrateful and don’t see the good in her as a mother. She refuses to come to a therapist with me and has stated that my therapist is “making me worse.” I love my mother and I want to be close with her, but she is begging me to forgive her and to move on. I don’t know how to because she is denying my feelings. How can I move forward healthily while maintaining a relationship with my mom?

—Feeling Stuck

Re: How do I squeeze blood from a turnip?

  • "I recently brought up my struggle to my mother and told her that I needed her to admit what she did and say she was sorry in order for me to move on and have closure."

    Although it would be great if her mother admitted her role and apologized, the writer needs to do further work with her therapist to move on and have closure.  She needs to accept her Mom as she is and move on from there.
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    mrsconn23HeffalumpbaconsmomVarunaTT
  • Exactly, MNNE.  Either this is a therapist fail or this person is going 'off-script'.  I have a feeling it may be the latter.  
    MNNEBrideHeffalumpVarunaTT
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited September 2015
    This is why many therapists aren't worth the piece of paper on their bleeping wall!  Really - WTF was that therapist doing suggesting or condoning she confront her Mom until she'd already moved past the event(s) to find out what her Mom's interpretation of these events are/were without laying blame to "You ruined my life now apologize for screwing me up and while you're at it unicorns, glitter, and a magic fairy wand. And dang it, I want glitter too!  Now!".  Nothing the Mom was going to say nor do was going to wave a bleeping magic fairy wand and epiphany moment, erase it from her past.  The issue though it involves her Mom, is really HER issue to work through to help her in developing positive future relationships, which, she may very well have an irrational Disney type view of what a relationship is because she's never seen how functional relationships work.  Her Mom did the best she could with what she had in that moment, those seconds, in time.  As the child, she wasn't given 100% of the information on any of these situations.  That's not to say her interpretation is wrong, NOT AT ALL, she potentially has a healthier WTF interpretation than her Mom.  But, right now, either she needs a therapist who's got a brain or she needs to do some real pull up the hip waders, this is going to be messy therapy, and her Mom doesn't need to go, really.  Therapy is about her, not placing blame on her Mom for how stuff went down.  The past happened, it's time for her to take the lessons, learn what needs to be learned, and take those lessons into life with her and accept her relationship with her Mom for what it is.   
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