Denial or something worse? TW


My mother stopped by today because she was in town for a doctor’s appointment. I was busy but made time for a relaxing few hours to chat. At one point she began to chide me for “not sharing enough” about my life and ranted on about how they don’t have pictures for all of the boys’ school years and I don’t talk to them and they don’t feel like they’re involved in my life and…

then I said “Ya know Mom, this probably isn’t a good time to rip me up.”

“I’m not ripping you up, I just think you need to…” [white noise]

I explain a little about my depression and my recent battles with becoming aware of my frequent dissociation and then she begins to repeat her rant and I repeat…

“Ya know Mom, this probably isn’t a good time to rip me up.”

She rolls her eyes and sighs and tells me how difficult I am to talk to, to get close to…and I think to myself “well that’s just ridiculous. Were you not there when you were raising me and abusing me when I was a little, little kid until I was big enough to physically stop you? I’m pretty sure you were because I still SEE it…

[Oooh you just wait until your dad goes to work…then it’s just you and me and I’ll show you…you just *wait* (hiss in my face emaphasis)].You’ll be all mine and you’ll *wish* you had listened to me!] Mmmmmm can you just FEEL the warm fuzzy unconditional love?

Back to the scene:

I am forced to externalize:

“Look, growing up I lived inside of my head most of the time because it was the only safe place. You may think I’m right here with you but a lot of the time I’m not. I’m someplace else. This isn’t like daydreaming and it’s not a now-and-then thing. It became a way of life. I can function really well while dissociating and it’s completely transparent, sometimes even to myself.”

Here eyes get wide and I’m not rolling over and submitting. I’m waiting for some kind of validation or recognition that she might have even been a teeeeeensy weeeeeensy bit *insane* when I was growing up but I got a quick flash of avoidance cloaked in denial of any knowledge and/or responsibility. Does she think this shit occurs in a fucking vacuum and that I am *defective*? [That’s almost humorous. Really.] Does she ever ask herself how her daughter ended up with these seemingly covert problems?

Maybe that’s the issue: Early in my life I learned how to cover absolutely EVERYTHING with precision and finesse. I am an expert. Believe me when I tell you that I am well-versed in the theory and practice of the psychology of not giving anything away. If somebody knows how I feel it’s only because I wanted them to know.

Still…when you beat the crap out of your kid before they go to school or yank them out of bed in the middle of the night [think Joan Crawford and “no more wire hangers”] that’s sorta something one might remember doing…right?

But why not be honest about it or at least admit it happened? What am I dealing with here? I can’t understand what I’m looking at. I have to understand to process it.

To be clear, there is no benefit for anyone in confronting my mother regarding the physical, emotional and psychological abuse. Ever. She’s not going to change or validate my feelings, let alone APOLOGIZE, and I’m not going to try to make her see the light. Yet, she can sit there and say “well, your dad always calls you these days because I told him you hated me.”

Hate you mom? Oh god no. See you for the wounded mess you are? Oh yeah. That said, I have a right to insulate myself and recover from what has been a lifetime of baggage that I don’t need or want anymore. Carry yours if you want, but I’m finished.

She has never apologized to me for one minuscule thing in her life and I believe it is because she feels justified. It was discipline not abuse. Life was hard. Beat the kid. She was stressed. Blah blah blah. [white noise]

Denial or something worse…


9 thoughts on “Denial or something worse? TW

    • Thanks for your kind words. There won’t be any confrontation on my part. I see no point. I think I’m on the right track and appreciate all of the support from my blogging pals! 🙂

  1. Sounds like you handled her well, as best you could. I didn’t grow up a child of abuse — that all started much later in life, but it’s still hard to be around people that hurt us. That’s fo’ sho.’ Keep your head up, Dharma — you’re doing great!

  2. You don’t need me to validate any of this. I’ll just say that I share much of what you describe of your experience with her. Oh, sure, different women, different times, different genders. But the same daily treatments, especially in the summer when there was no school. To make it a little different, we lived on a farm, so I was stuck out in the middle of nowhere with a mother who was big on discipline (not too much of the physical stuff, fortunately) until I was old enough to be able to escape to the outdoors. I can see now that it was due to a toxic combination of her own terrible childhood, menopause and resentment about having yet another child to care for too late in life. Whatever. I had to break the chain of tradition, I guess. Just as you have done.

    I spent most daylight hours roaming the hills and woods barns and around the pond. I have known for a long time where most of my ‘issues’ came from, but didn’t realize I had learned to dissociate, and that that was what I was doing by becoming Nature Boy. Lonely, but safe. The Ghost.

    She never admitted anything was wrong, either. You may recall that poem I posted about how I felt at her funeral. Suffice it to say, I had to do the forgiving, but it was for my own sake. Letting go of all that crap did me a world of good.

    You are sounding very good, Dharma. Very good. 🙂

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