Rinse, Wash, Repeat.

It was a year ago – September 14th, 2018, that I came home to rejoin my Family after spending 11 Weeks away at In-Patient Treatment for an Addiction to Prescription Opiates.

I could have lost everything; my life, my children and my freedom. I was running at such a dangerous pace as a User in Active Addiction that it was going to catch up to me eventually. It is scary to comprehend what could have happened hadn’t I surrendered to my Addiction to Prescription Opiates on June 24, 2018.

Since then, I have thrived (450 days almost!) and began “peeling back the onion” so I can properly deal with everything that has happened. Although I asked for a Divorce in April and have been dealing with that for 6 months, it pales in comparison to what has really happened to me.

Thankfully now, I am no longer in a Fog; traumatized beyond belief but properly dealing with what has happened.

Throughout this past year, I started learning more details, truths and omissions that ultimately could have led me right back into Addiction. The severity of my situation is scary – my own Mother has been colluding against me since last Summer when she abruptly told me she didn’t want to talk to me any more and that we had no relationship.

Up to that point, she had called Daily while I was in Treatment and had seemed supportive throughout until I started to really absorb the Program and begin to recognize the Dysfunction. I also began to see how all of these behaviours affected me Emotionally.

My Husband and Mother called excessively while I was away. At one point, they told my Husband to stop calling because I needed to focus on getting better. Every step of the way, during my 11 weeks away; I had a Counsellor by my side. They were quietly observing and gently guiding me through a very serious situation that occurred while I was away.

No one or nothing could have prepared me for what I eventually discovered but my Recovery Supports began dropping little breadcrumbs along the way. One of the most significant moments would have to be when I was handed the “Red Book” and asked if my Mother had been raised in an Alcoholic Household.

I told my Counsellor I wasn’t sure and it would have to wait.

My biological Grandmother lost custody of her 3 daughters back in the early 1960’s due to Addiction and probable Mental Illness. Two of those daughters were a set of Twins which ironically, I had “Irish Twins” last year.

My Mother was born to her after this happened and unfortunately, she had to give her up for Adoption four months later. I know no other details in regards to what happened after this.

However, one must ask – how bad were things during that Generation; where a Woman could lose Custody of her Children in a time when that didn’t happen as often?

Addiction issues were not as prominent then as they are now; especially Alcohol. It was a different time for sure but because I don’t know the whole story, I only know these details – I may never know the answer.

All I know is that the Cycle of my Biological Grandmother and her situation could have very well been my fate. It could absolutely be my fate one day if I do not focus every day on Recovery.

Addiction is considered to be Hereditary but our Genetic Makeup does not necessarily guarantee Addiction.
Within any Family that is undergoing the Cycle, there are individuals who recognize dysfunction and ultimately decide to Detach.

My Grandma and I – 1992

I’ve always been that person; my whole life. When I was growing up, it was so awful between my Mother and I that I called my Grandma almost every day. I was 7 years old when my Dad died and my whole life changed. My Mother changed with it and so, any perceived slight or criticism would launch an epic war.

My best friend from Grade 1 still remembers a time when I could not stop crying and I was such an angry kid. One time, around 12/13 years of age – I hit my little brother with a fire poker which left a scar. For years, whenever there was a conflict, my brothers would remember this trauma I inflicted but this is a learned behaviour from a Parent known as “Reactive Abuse.

In order to get the love, affection and validation from this type of Parent; the siblings must often compete against each other for it. A concept called “Flying Monkey Syndromeexists. If the siblings do not all conform and follow the lead of attack on the now Black Sheep; they too will be cast out.

I later learned how my Grandmother was manipulating me to get information about my Mother to probably Manipulate her with. This is called Triangulation. Over time, my Grandma conditioned me to go to her for Emotional Support and resent my Mother. My Grandmother used me for her own gratification.

@blacksheepsurvives Instagram

My Mother, not knowing any better as she grew up with the same Cycle, began hating her own Child and still has a lifelong resentment towards me. That is the only explanation for her behaviour in the last two years that has been explained by a Professional to me, that I can accept. However, it was when I started having my own Children that I really realized something was wrong in the Relationship.

READ: Five Things an Unloving Mother Never Does

Having my first child made me depressed because I knew even a Granddaughter would not change this situation. Going to Treatment finally provided me with answers I desperately needed all of my life. I had been convinced by her and then of course now; my Husband after she successfully Triangulated him; that I was “bad” and not worthy of love, compassion or support.

Essentially this was done to cut me out of the picture. My Mother knew I absorbed what I had learned at Treatment, along with the 80 books I read on the subject while away. Deep down, she knew a big change was coming otherwise I would not be participating in the Dysfunction any more.

To protect her only link to her Grandchildren; an Emotional Relationship based upon Mutual Dissatisfaction and contempt for me as a person was made between her and my former Spouse. Those feelings for her are not new. My Mother admitted to me frustrating her beyond measure and difficult to love but she has felt that way since I was little.

1988 – 4 years old

It was so confusing to me while growing up because sometimes she could be incredible. I had Dance Lessons paid for by her growing up but as soon as I turned 15, I was told to get a job and I’ve been financially independent almost ever since. I worked all throughout my teenage years, put myself through School and bought my own house at 24. I did not do anything to deserve this hate and I have finally been able to accept that. For a long time, I felt absolutely worthless.

Under no circumstances should your Partner (or you for that matter)and your Parents or their Parent(s) be conversing on a regular, intimate level above what relationship you have with them.

This is Emotional Incest where a Parent has a literal Emotional Based Relationship based on Co-Dependancy, Dissatisfaction and Dislike for a Person, Place or Thing. This may also include their own Parents. It is common for Mothers of Sons for example; to not be able to accept their new place in their Son’s Emotional Hierarchy.

READ: What is “Covert Incest?”

An Emotional Hierarchy is where someone ranks in someone’s life in terms of Emotional Power. When you get married, your Partner should be at the top of this role along with your Children.

Have you ever asked yourself:

Why does my Mother seemingly “hate” me?

Why does it feel like my Siblings and I were constantly pitted against each other our whole lives to compete for her love and affection?

Why is it so different with other Mother’s? Why do they seem to love their daughters no matter what?

Why does my Mother tell my secrets? How can she be so nice and compassionate one minute but hateful the next?

Of course because of this lifelong treatment from my Primary Parent; obvious negative outcomes of my Personality were created. I was only made aware of all this last year during Treatment.

It is one of the most common symptoms of being Emotionally and Psychologically abused during Childhood – you are always wanting to run. You seek excitement and fulfillment because you don’t have it at home.

Here are some other examples of behaviour Trauma can create in your Personality:

I cannot do any running away now as I am a Mother of 3 – and I don’t want to. The last 6 months have been dedicated to rebuilding my life so I can begin as a Single Mother, who works, is in Recovery with a Medical Cannabis Prescription.

In the past year, I made a few attempts (in the right way, from a place of love) to reconcile with my Mother but unless it’s on her terms; she will not. I personally asked her to go to Counselling for the first time in my life. For now, our non-existent relationship is on my terms and I respectfully put up healthy boundaries only for them to be torn down, disrespected and manipulated.

Everything I had been warned about in the past year or told; happened. I have had to grieve the loss of my Mother who is still very much alive. My daughters will not fall victim to this vicious cycle of Triangulation. Your children cannot have healthy relationships with anyone who hates you or does not respect you.

This past year, not only have I been in Recovery but I’ve also had to mourn the loss of having a Mother in my life but I needed to find out the truth in regards to everything else. The pieces began falling together and it all just started to make sense.

There is a saying; “What is done in the Dark, must come out into the Light.” I find so much peace in that as it is true. I only found happiness, peace and health once I detached from my Mother and became even stronger once I detached from my Toxic Marriage. I no longer felt the overpowering Fog or emptiness inside I had felt for as long as I could remember.

The emptiness I carried from not having Parents raise me on an Emotional, Physical or Spiritual Level seemingly went away and I attribute that to Recovery and the love I feel for my Girls; who are my complete focus.

@blacksheepsurvives Instagram

About 8 months after I Graduated and about a month after I asked for a Separation; I made contact with my Maternal Aunt. She became a “Black Sheep” about 30 years ago when she was undergoing her own Marital Breakdown.

My Aunt is an amazing Woman. She is independent, articulate, smart and incredibly sassy. Reconnecting with her after all this time made such an impact in my life because we are similar in so many ways. We are both the oldest Daughter, oldest child. She raised her son on her own while balancing her Career in Professional Education. She is now a Principal of a School.

My Maternal Aunt as a Kid

She never enjoyed a closeness with her Mother and had almost the exact relationship with her that I have with mine. My Mother would often tell me “You are just like my Sister” as if it were an insult.

My Aunt successfully broke the Cycle of severe Triangulation and Dysfunction for herself but not without pain. Her entire Family turned against her as she repeatedly asked for more space. She had written her Parents a private letter which became Family knowledge. She had never received unconditional love and emotional support from her Parents in the past so going through a painful Divorce- she asked for space.

It didn’t play out that way and it ended up in a 30 year Estrangement. My Aunt and her Mother never reconciled and my Grandma died in 1998. Growing up, I was told so many terrible things about her and heard things no child should know. I’ve always had a mind of my own and prefer to get to know people before deciding to hate them.

I couldn’t hate her. She had been in my life for 6 years and I only remembered her to be a loving, enjoyable person. Eventually she reconciled with her Father and has enjoyed almost 8 years of that but my Mother considered my relationship with her to be a Betrayal.

@blacksheepsurvives Instagram

It is this type of DYSFUNCTION that creates endless Cycles of Trauma and Despair. People think their kids fighting here and there or being bad is Dysfunctional. It can be if not properly managed but there is a wide gap between regular Family Bullshit and full-blown Psychological warfare within the Family Unit.

Grandparents can learn from their mistakes and go on to make amends, create an understanding once they have personally evaluated themselves. However, if they choose to absolve themselves from being less than stellar Parents during your Childhood and functioned as the main source of the Family Dysfunction by trying to ruin your life – you have a problem.

We cannot continuously live our lives how our Parents did. If we do, we will continue to churn the same old ideals, experiences and bullshit that creates these cycles to begin with.

Right now, my Mother is living out something that happened 30 years ago yet the situation is completely different. Now there is an Emotional Relationship between my Husband and Mother, similar to what my Aunt experienced 30 years ago when her Parents did the same thing.

They Triangulated with her Husband as well and tried to take her to Court. The Trauma from that ended any chance of reconciling with her Parents because she had clearly communicated what she needed during her time of despair.

She needed the personal space and boundaries for her Emotional Well-being. If she did not have that, it can cause Depression, Anxiety, Addiction, etc which are all symptoms of Trauma.

She was given full-custody and successfully went no-contact. We didn’t see her son again until he turned 18, when I sought him out online. Throughout my life; I had been told by my Maternal Family members that her son would “see how his Mother really is and realize it.” Well I can tell you it did not happen that way whatsoever and they have a loving, healthy relationship.

Just because she did things differently and voiced her displeasure along with asking for space – she was catapulted into oblivion as a Scapegoat/Black-sheep for decades.

Now, I am in this situation myself and believe me; it is scary – but I have support, knowledge and strength.

People understand this cycle much better today than they did 30 years ago. If they didn’t, I would not have learned all about it during my time at Treatment.

The Counsellors I have been involved with, my Doctors at the Clinic I attend each Friday for my Urine Screens, all recognize these Cycles and have held my hand through this to ensure I stay healthy.

I continue to focus on my future and the future of my Daughters rather than trying to repair relationships that are Toxic. When you repeatedly try to do something and you consistently achieve the same negative outcome every time – that is addictive behaviour.

People and Relationships can be addicting and are responsible for much of the Drug Addiction issues we are seeing now. New experiences, outcomes and philosophies are the only way we can grow. Without love, support and compassion; people die.

My daughters will hopefully never have to experience the pain of losing a Parent as a Child – Physically, Emotionally or Spiritually. I’ve been on my own for a long time and followed my own heart and intuition to get to this point.

I think I’m doing pretty well all things considered.

Have a great week.

3 thoughts on “Rinse, Wash, Repeat.

  1. This writing is a valuable asset and food of thought for those who have had the same or similar experience. I wish you best of luck and more strength to overcome your difficulties, which I don’t doubt you will. Keep enlightening us with more posts in the meantime.

    Liked by 3 people

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