Outsourced to my mother Pt 2

Thank you for such a thought provoking reply to my last post. I’m re-working my models. I can clearly see that making her responsible for how I feel, and vice versa, is actually not effective at making either one of us happy.

When I look at possible ladder thoughts (ie: It’s possible that her feelings are not my fault), I can see that – but I also have the belief that “if I don’t take responsibility for her feelings, our relationship will fall apart”.

So then I take it to the next level, and ask: “Why is it a problem if our relationship falls apart?”

Often, I can dig down and find that the situation is truly neutral. Once I can see that it’s neutral, it’s no problem.

What do I mean by “falls apart”? I mean that she won’t reach out to me, I’ll never get to know her as the woman that she is, and that she will die without me ever getting to know her, and I’ll feel guilty forever.

I know I don’t HAVE to make the situation neutral if I don’t want to. But I can’t see how I can stop taking responsibility for her feelings without losing a potential relationship with her.

The starting model I’m working with is:

C Mother exists
T If I don’t manage her emotions, she will be “done” with me and our relationship will dissolve.
F Desperate
A Try to say the right thing, reach out the right amount of times, plan a trip, keep digging to try to get her to open up
R We don’t have a real relationship, and I dissolve the relationship with myself

So – I can see that this thought doesn’t help. But then I have this interfering thought:

C Mother exists
T If I just say it right and do the right things, she’ll be happy
F Motivated
A Try to find and say and do the right things
R I have some semblance of relationship with her, and that’s better than nothing.

But, then what’s the problem? I guess the relationship doesn’t feel real. It feels rocky, tumultuous, and like I don’t know what is going to happen next. I don’t want that either.

So see, I feel like I am in her model, and it is kind of working. It’s not working WELL, but it’s better than nothing, isn’t it?

Anyway, I’m trying to do a thought ladder starting with “If I don’t take responsibility for her feelings, our relationship will dissolve”. I’m not sure if this is the right place to start, or what. Or, maybe it makes more sense to start with “If I just do and say the right things, she will be happy” and ladder up from there.

Open to any advice. This feels a little extra tricky to me.