This has been the first Christmas that I have had no contact with my mother and I thought that I would have felt a sense of loss.
I was assuming that it would have sparked an emotion of Love or loss, but it has not.
My family had an awesome Christmas morning, and then went see Star-wars in 3–D. It was a very chilled day. We had our celebration feast on Christmas Eve.
We ended our Christmas last night watching old home videos from year 2000. Mainly of the kids.
That said, my mother was in a couple of them, so I was expecting it to hit me. Emotionally.
But the only thing I saw was the way I always had to walk on eggshells and the way she talked to me. I felt nothing.
There was absolutely zero love, hence, no sense of loss.
In one segment we were celebrating my birthday where gave me a jornal and asked me if it was the one I wanted from Barnes & Noble.
I told her that it wasn’t the one that I had previously mentioned to her, but I loved it anyways. And thanked her.
That should have been the end of the conversation, but it was not.
She got defensive and told me that I’d just have to take it back if I didn’t like it.
I then repeated to her again that I liked it.
She then asked me what it was that was different then the one that I asked for.
So I went through a big song and dance explaining that it was a mother’s jornal that you wrote about your kids in. And the one she gave me was one that I wrote about myself in.
I suppose I should have lied, and just thanked her and said yes, that it was the one I wanted.
Maybe that’s what most daughters would have done..
The next thing I opened was a dress she bought me.
It was gray. Quite lovely.
Yet again, after I opened it, she asked me if it was the one I wanted. I told her, yes, but in black.
She then went on saying that gray would look much better on me, and that they didn’t have black anyways, and if I didn’t like it, to take it back.
You see, it’s the getting upset whatever I say and telling me to just take it back if I don’t like it that irks me. Especially in the manner that she did..
Her voice to me was always angry, even seventeen years ago. The same anger she had when I was trying t order myself the tomatoes with breakfast on my last day with her, is the same anger she has always shown to me.
And after watching the home movies last night I realized that she has always talked to me that way.
The only difference is, I’m not putting up with it anymore because it has always made me feel awful. I am all about putting “family first” but if you have family that I’d never uplifting, encouragingly you, and basically makes you feel like you are five years old when you are a full blown adult, that’s where the line should be drawn. Just because they are family? Does not give them a free pass to treat you like crap. No one deserves physical OR mental abuse at any time in their lives.now if you can pray for patience with someone and have what they say to you NOT effect you in way, shape, or form.. then that is different. My husband is the type of person that can just let stuff go in one ear and out the other. He takes nothing personal. Even if it is.
But I’m not like that. Maybe I will have that gift some day, but presently, I do not.
I remember on three different occasions trying to be assertive and stand up for myself, by telling my mother that I don’t want communication between us to always be harsh.
This was also always the advice from other family members, friends, and my husband.
They have always told me to just be assertive and tell my mother, like an adult, that I will not have her talk to me in a degrading, condescending way.
Each time I have tried, it never went well, and always left me in tears. Not to mention, regret.
The first time was back in 2005.
She was in my living room yelling at me, for what, I don’t even recall. I think it probably had to do with me letting my kids run through the house. Or, my kids trying to talk to her while she was reading. You see, my kids were always such a bother to her. And I’m coming to realize that my brother and me were also a bother. An inconvenience.
I remember asking her why she was so upset.
She thought that was terribly disrespectful, and so I told her outright that she was being selfish.
The result from that, was her moving out two months later. You see, everything was always her way or the highway.
The next time was when I was down in Florida visiting her,back in 2013.
We were at a national park, in the parking lot, in her car. She started asking me why my kids don’t write to her.
I told her that they don’t know her, and that her coming to visit once a year, yet never really spending any quality time with them… haven’t really established a relationship with them.
That made her very angry, and she started in on herself.. because every conversation always ended up with the whole… “My life has been so hard, and poor me.”
I ended up in tears, and feeling so bad that I stood up for myself and my kids.
Then the last time was this past year in the middle of a thrift store, again, while down in Florida visiting her with my daughter.
She pulled me aside and told me that she has a lot of issues with my daughter and that maybe I should have come visit her by myself, like usual.
We ended up having a huge argument in the middle of the thrift store. It then continued at a restaurant. It was probably the worst feeling I have ever felt in my adult life. It has only been six months, so thinking back on that day, I still feel that “feeling”
THAT day was the final straw, when I realized that I did not want to spend the rest of my adult life being afraid to be myself or talk to her.
A few days leading up to this, my daughter had noticed that I was agreeing with everything she said, each time she talked to me. If she said she didn’t like something, I agreed that I didn’t either. If something made her mad, I acted like it made me mad, if she complained about someone. I sympathized, and agreed that it would have bothered me too. If she asked me how I liked something, I told her I loved it.
I wasn’t even realizing that I was doing this until it was brought to my attention. It made me sad at the time; that I had stooped to that level of communication with her.
But I guess I learned that in order to keep the peace, just agree with everything.
That night I decided in my mind that things need to change, and that if I couldn’t handle being talked down to, and I have already tried to have an adult conversation, to address the issue, then the only other option would be to take a break, and cut off all ties with her.
I thought it would have been a hard thing to do, but if you never had love in the mix, then there really wouldn’t be any empty place in the heart.
And this has been my experience these past six months of having no communication with her.
I don’t feel the sense of loss that I thought I would have. Mainly, because I never received any genuine love from her, well, ever. Even as a child growing up. I guess I assumed she loved me, and she occasionally voiced it to me.. but as an adult, I have felt nothing. Granted, I feel sad that I have had two very absentee parents growing up. And more so, that my children have been robbed of active grandparents.
But I’m not going to whine sad cry the rest of my life over it. I’m capable of showing each one of my kids their potential and worth in life.
Never, will I ever, whine to them that I didn’t have this or that as a kid. And they should feel lucky. Or try to manipulate them to feel sorry for me, etc.
Because it’s not about me.
Raising children needs to be a selfless act.
One out of pure love.
Kids need unconditional love. When they feel your love, everything else will fall into place…