Picture credit: TimOve
“Crying tears on the outside and blood on the inside, a stabbing feeling deep in my heart”
A little thing about the Mother that had a big impact on our day to day lives, and still does;
She is never, ever satisfied.
There was always something I did wrong, could have done better or not enough of. I would be chastised for mistakes or beliefs in her own head of how I caused something to happen for years following an event.
If I vacuumed the house, she’d be upset I didn’t clean the windows.
If I tidied my bedroom, she’d be upset I didn’t clean the kitchen.
If a photo was taken she was later angry about my posture.
When I wanted to ride my bike to school, she was angry and slammed the door in my face (a stranger got out of their car to help me cross the busiest road)
When I changed my hair colour to a deep red, she referred to me as “carrot head” until I changed the colour to a more socially acceptable colour, in her opinion.
When I was in a bicycle accident and couldn’t get up, it was my fault she hurt her back helping me get into the car.
When she went through a red light and almost had a collision, it was my fault. And I was actually trying to get us killed. I believed this for a long time.
When I was accepted into a uni degree she was annoyed at my excitement.
When I asked her why she doesn’t say nice things about me being pregnant for the first time, she replied “I don’t want you to get a big head”
There are so many more…
I think the biggest turning point in my feelings towards her was around age 15. I went away with a neighbours family for almost 2 weeks. I felt so homesick and missed the Mother so much. When I saw her on the platform I ran towards her, dropped all my bags and gave her the biggest hug. She immediately told me off for dropping my bags.
Then, in the car started yelling at me about the chores I didn’t do 2 weeks ago before leaving.
When we got home I went to my bedroom. This is my first memory of painful crying. My heart felt broken. I vowed to myself to never feel love for her again. Something inside me switched off.
In therapy I have begun to understand the dynamic with her a little better. During early childhood, everything I did was to keep her happy. Conform and mould into whatever she needed me to be. She was my world. This is what young children do. We do it for our very survival. She was the source of food and warmth. Then we grow up.
As I yearned for more of my own identity I believe this became a point of tension. Suddenly I don’t need the Mother so much, I want independance. I want certain freedoms, away from her. I was becoming a teenager who needed my own identity, I needed to figure out who I wanted to be. The Mother could not handle this natural separation. Instead she became extremely mean. Name calling was her way of bringing me back into line.
I was so many things. So many nasty things.
Around this time Dad stopped physically abusing me, but now I was dealing with something else completely.
The next few years that followed are a little blurry in regards to the order of events.
I became bipolar. I would have extreme moments of happiness, laughing hysterically for hours followed by hours of crying. I attempted suicide, with 3 of those attempts landing me in hospital.
The accumulation of little things. Living with the Mother was daily emotional torture. This post scratches the surface of how these little daily interactions eroded my self-esteem and ability to even think for myself.
Now in therapy, one of the things I hope to achieve is finding my voice, allowing myself to have independent thought. Learning to find the words to express myself in a way that is constructive, assertive and respectful.