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Emotional Minefield

That place you find yourself when you are not sure which way you can go next without encountering utter destruction

There is a very close, very loved person that I interact with.  When we talk,  I try to watch what I say so as not to upset this person because I NEVER know what is going to set this person off.    Feelings get hurt at the most innocent of responses or passing comments I may utter… and then the return jabs pop up everywhere and are non-stop or worse the extreme intensity of negative unsafe vibes are spewed out all over the place, making me want to escape.  The angry verbal engagement falls on all present. A sense of Not Good Things entwine ever word that I dare speak from any given point in an attempt to move forward in order to:  Correct, Calm, Explain, Defend or Clarify.

Fight or flight is triggered regularly while in this persons company.   Many  times I think, I have to LEAVE ( Flight ) usually kicks in first.  After a breath I think, I will try to fix this or defend myself ( fight response ).  This type of circular communication pattern  can occur 5-6 times a day, while the other hours are spent in separate rooms or not talking while watching tv or a movie rental.   If this was not a very close relation, I would not put up with this sh*t.   And I always end up thinking, ” no wonder I am so screwed up…”

There are times when  I think I need to confront this person with something serious they have done, then I reflect back on days like described above when discussing nothing important or critical and how damned hard it is to constantly be trying to navigate the emotional minefield when talking with this person.  How exhausted, manipulated and battered I feel when I am in their company and in the days that follow.  So, the serious critical conversations rarely if ever happen.

In my head… “If I say this, then that will cause problems”.  “Why does she turn everything into a personal attack?”,   “if I point out that some of their behavior with me as being the exact same that they always complain happens to them, well that will cause everything to go south” and on and on it goes.  My head becomes dizzy and I just want to be quiet.  Other times I speak, interject or respond and an out of the blue defensive angry response is assailed upon me, and I wasn’t even trying to be confrontational, mean or…

I drive long miles to visit.  My visits are not as often and I am unable to stay more than one overnight.  By the next morning, I have generally experienced the Fight or Flight at least a handful of times.  But, it is all I have left of a very tiny 3-person family and without them I am alone in the world quite literally.

At the root of it all, I think this person feels like a perpetual victim.  Who always states (as to remind me of her ill lot in life) that her own mother loves her but never liked her even as a very young child, is one example.  The incredible amount of self-perpetuating hurt, anger and defensiveness spills out everywhere and surrounding her is a huge invisible emotional minefield,  one misstep and Kabooom!   Her family is in constant danger, her friends seem relatively safe.

I used to think she will mellow with age, work out her issues and come to peace with her inner demons.  Now in her 70’s sadly this has not been the case.  For some reason, and I don’t know this for sure, I think she ruminates and is constantly reinforcing all of her negative life experiences, providing more venom for all of her tomorrows.


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  1. I feel exhausted after reading this. I had a difficult person in my life, but not as extreme as this, perhaps because we were separated by an ocean… She finally cut me out of her life because I stressed her out so much, she couldn’t deal with my finally defending myself. I have to say, the peace has been nice, but there is guilt. Life is too short really or too long depending on how you look at it (too long if you think about putting up with bs for 40-50 years!!!).

    PS trying to get back into the swing of blogging again 🙂

  2. That sounds really hard, both for her and for you. Some people are trapped in negative cycles and sadly they remain there until they become aware of their thoughts and have the strength to look within and change their perspective. Some people choose not to do this because they feel safe in their bubble of complaints and negativity. They don’t want to face themselves and I guess that is a decision that works for them, as difficult as it seems otherwise. Such people are hard to be around and tend to find fault in everything and everyone because deep down they dislike themselves are in constant conflict. I do hope this lady finds the strength to choose a different path sometime if that’s what she wants.

  3. This is so sad. The mother-child relationship is such a precious one! I blog about my relationship with my daughter and mother often. I have been told by many of my followers that we are fortunate as a family. That mothers are not all good and loving. That mothers can be evil. I wish I had a solution for you. Cyber hugs to you!

  4. sometimes I think that is how my daughter feels about me. I have no answers, but I hope that you two can find some form of comunication where you can be honest. How about a letter? One that is not overtly confontational. Maybe they will have a change to mull it over in their minds and not be so defensive when you dicuss it in person. Maybe give it to them whne you are not going to be with them in the next few hours. It is only a thought. xx

    • An excellent thought at that. (Maybe in future) Curious as to how this convo might go on with you and your daughter to see if this is how she is feeling.

      • I talked to her through text today and just told her to delete the email I sent. She is having her PC fixed right now so she hasn’t yet checked her email. I thought it best if I try and smooth it over. I explained how I felt that day and she seems to understand. I am afraid if I rattle the cage too much, her husband might ban be from any future grandkids



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