So I had therapy yesterday and we talked about my mother wanting to see me. I was happy when my therapist had the same reaction as me and all of you who commented, when she heard the wording of the email I got when my mother called me “her girl”. Yuck. Anyway, I told my therapist that I had to reply to her in some way and she said “Do you really”? I told her yes, because even though a normal person would get the message that I don’t want to see them or have anything to do with them, my mother refuses to see what’s in front of her face. Not replying would simply instigate the storm cloud of further emails and then progress to phone calls and voice messages that would get more and more aggressive and likely be interspersed with some manipulating “sad” ones saying she just wants to see her child or some nonsense like that. My therapist agreed because she knows my mother is not mentally stable herself but more along the lines of a psycho than anything else. She’s very manipulative and likes the passive-aggressive thing and when that doesn’t work she goes back and forth between aggression, sulking, whining, and then one of her favorites: trying to buy me something. She’s used money in the past or gifts and there is always a string (or two or more) attached. So, my therapist wants me to take some time to come to understand my personal truths in this matter concerning my mother. I’ll get to that in a second. I asked her what I should say to my mother in the meantime. It’s difficult because just seeing her name in an email or hearing her voice on the phone makes me physically ill. My therapist suggested a simple reply back to her email saying “I’m very busy right now. I’ll get back to you”. So, I sent that off this morning. It remains to be seen if my mother replies to that or lets it go for the time being. My husband doesn’t think it will work so easily and I tend to agree. Basically what we’re doing is stalling until we can come up with a more permanent way to get her out of my life.
Now back to the personal truth. I have a feeling that all of you will be able to relate to this concept and why it’s difficult to do. My therapist and I know that because of my mother’s volatile personality and the abuse that came from that and from her general mean and hateful spirit, that I was never allowed to be honest growing up. I was never allowed to say how I really felt about anything unless my opinion agreed with her. If I didn’t agree or I didn’t like something I got hit. I got screamed at, cussed at, whatever…you get it. if I showed any emotion other than what was acceptable to her then the same thing happened. The only way to deal with a situation like that where you aren’t allowed to be yourself, is to create a façade. We have a “relationship” that doesn’t actually exist in reality. I don’t view her as my mother. My grandmother, the one who really raised me and gave me my personal values, the one who taught me to read and do my multiplication tables, the one who said “I love you” to me everyday and took care of me and loved to hear my thoughts and opinions and feelings on everything, she was my mother. And she’s dead. I found her body when she died. She’s gone. As far as I’m concerned, I have no mother now. The person who gave birth to me is still around and wants to pretend we have a relationship that we don’t have. The strange thing is, is that she knows the truth, I can sense that she does but she refuses to accept it. That’s part of the personal truth my therapist wants me to work out. As she put it, I did not bond with my mother because she wa not really my mother. Therefore, I don’t have any feelings of being a daughter to her at all. At this point my therapist has suggested that I write a letter that my mother will never see. In that letter i can explore my personal truth about how I feel about her and my feelings about our relationship. So that’s my therapy homework. Fun!
I have a feeling that many of us have had or still have similar situations in our life where we have trouble being honest about how we feel and what we need or what we want from life and from other people. Many of us were taught through hard lessons, that it isn’t safe to be honest and that we have to pretend. Pretend that everything is ok. That we’re all one big, happy family. I can’t maintain that level of dishonesty anymore. When I hit my late twenties/early thirties, I decided that I wasn’t going to lie anymore. I was never a liar to begin with but what I meant was that I wouldn’t lie just to please people. If I can honestly say something nice about someone or to someone and it’s sincere, I will say it. if I can’t, then I won’t make something up that I don’t actually feel, just to please someone else, and I’ve tried to do that. It’s a kind of “If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all” thing but it’s more broad and it’s applied a little differently. That doesn’t mean that I don’t speak my mind, because there are times (depending on the person) that I speak up, but it means that in some situations, I have a different way of conveying to someone that I disagree with them, or that I find them or their actions distasteful without actual confrontation every single time. *WOW I just had the sharpest pain shoot through my eye, that usually means a migraine could be coming. I better wrap this up…* Of course this tactic does not work on everyone because some people can’t fathom that someone would ever disagree with them or that they could ever be wrong about anything. Anyway I’ll be working on my letter for a while. This will be interesting because my therapist is out-of-town next week, so that means it will be the first week I will not see her since I started going back for therapy and since the DID diagnosis. That’s a little scary because she won’t be here for me to talk to. I’ll see how that goes. Alright, that’s all for now. If anyone wants to comment on this post or has thoughts on “personal truths” or pretending or being honest or anything else they would like to say, please feel free to speak here as much as you would like to.