On edge and freaking. So gonna try write some of this.
Someone was telling me about her mother. And I replied some stuff about mine. And I feel like I’ve opened something too big. And now that I’ve said this it’s gone and not true. I wonder if I should cut off or let myself freak out.
My mother did her best. So I feel guilty ever saying anything about her. And she loved me. She loves us. Even if her love is tangled up with love for herself because she can’t truly love her kids for her kids because we are a reflection of her and if we aren’t what she thinks we should be it’s a reflection of her badness that caused it.
Recently I was talking to my mother and told her a story, being this may be public not giving details for too many people know this story. I told her how for the year after I’d asked her to change something. And she never listened. She told me she didn’t know. Then asked why I didn’t go to my father. It hadn’t been an option for me as I never spoke to him. I was trapped somewhere I hated for a year because of this story and because she never listened.
She did know. My entire family knew. What was eye opening and shocking to me was that she told me she had been through a really similar story – accused of something specific without knowing until years later what the accusation even was of, the same accusation levelled against me. She was hurt so much by it and never told anyone. You would think,I would have thought, that when the same accusation is levelled against your daughter, in the same setting, you’d do something. Yet she didn’t. She couldn’t.
My mother never could handle our pain. If we were in pain it was a reflection on her. And she can’t handle sadness. She’s beginning to now. She couldn’t. So if I ever went to her with a complaint. It wasn’t. It just wasn’t. It didn’t exist. What I thought or felt wasn’t true.
What actually baffles me is why I’m hurt more by my mother than my father. I grew up with a father who any time I complained about anything always said it was me being sensitive. That taught me to doubt myself and my thoughts a lot more than my mother did because I always knew my mother wasn’t healthy. I’d complain about my mother to my father.
I don’t know the point in writing this coz there’s so much I’ve said so many times and it’s not like saying it changes anything.
So my mother taught me not to feel and trust myself. My father taught me not to trust myself. Beginning. End.
There are some things E has told (emailed) me that I’ll always remember. It was so eye opening to me. She said that when she’s bathing a kid and they say the water is too hot she’d add cold water… I’ve told her a few times how much she taught me with that. She gave other examples. I was flabbergasted. What do you mean you’d listen? You know it’s not too hot so you’d say it’s not, or you’d tell them they’re too sensitive. (My mother, or father).
She told me she would never go into a childs room until they told her to come in. My mother STILL would walk into my room when I haven’t replied or say please don’t cone in. Recently I’ve taken to locking my door again when I’m in my room, not always though I should, for that reason. If it’s not locked I don’t know that she won’t walk in. She hovered my floor recently (or her cleaner did) when I’d told her not to. I was really upset. No I’m not going to lock my door when I’m not in my room.
E taught me so much about respecting boundaries and listening to children that I had always thought was my fault for wanting it. Because I was too sensitive. Or it wasn’t.
Someone actually asked me today where the shame and guilt I live with comes from. The inherent shame comes from this. Not the guilt. The shame. That I’m inherently wrong.
I guess it also comes from not being who my parents want. There’s no way I can be who they want. If my father knew who I was he’d be so hurt. If he knew what I did. The livings lie. Living a facade. That I have to.
The guilt for living. Knowing I’m hurting others just by living. But that’s really a different point entirely.
And there’s nothing to say. I can write for hours and it doesn’t change what was. I feel guilty for caring. Because my parents loved me. My father did and does. My mother’s is not as real coz it’s all about her. It’s about her needs and wants. Not me. I’ve so many happy memories. Caring is wrong. Knowing what wasn’t okay is wrong because there was so much good.
Gonna leave it here.
9 thoughts on “Memories 2”
I totally get that guilt when I speak the truth of what I’ve experienced from my Mum, so I know what you’re talking about. But I think it’s false guilt though, I don’t say that in any way against you, or your thoughts and feelings, but because I know that about myself and so I recognise it. Because… if your experience happened, which it did, and if you’re not dissing your Mum, which you’re not, then recounting facts of what took place historically should leave a person no more guilty than it would if they were explaining what happened in a car crash. I think it’s easy to get tangled in the emotion of loving a parent, so it blurs whether we should feel the guilt we do, or not.
I personally think every time you write it out something is released or shifts deep down, and these minute movements are not wasted. They’re not fast enough to feel they make a difference but it’s good to do if you feel compelled to write, so I’m glad you have done tonight.
I’m really glad someone asked you were that shame comes from, I was cheering that you’ve got someone as solid as that with you to ask you that short of question. It’s hard to look at uncovering what the answer may be, but with the help of a really good therapist it makes it much more manageable. Freedom sometimes comes in tiny steps over a long time. But it’s still freedom 💕
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I think you are trying to explore a very difficult relationship and you seem to reflect so clearly on this. There were ways their parenting did not work but you can also acknowledge other aspects. It was interesting what you said about your friend and adding cold water to the bath. I think my parents and then some aspect of my parenting was built on giving less choice. My daughter gives so much choice to her toddler I am at times mind boggled but it needs patience and time. I think some things have been generational but others are to do with personality and the effect of ‘damage done’ and then repeated through a generation or so. You are going forward with this so well and with acceptance more than anger.
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I remember nothing.
My parents weren’t even around.
The message of your father was to be a man; is that always correct? You’re mom’s message is familiar to me somewhat by a member of my family, but it’s not selfishness, it’s their perspective. It’s difficult to change.
Can you accept your father’s message now?
I’m hoping the above comes off ok, I’m hesitant to post. But I know you like dissecting your feelings, so maybe, I hope, this will help somewhat.
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I’m sad for you….
My father is actually really emotional and sensitive. His message was that I was wrong. He genuinely believed that. When I went to him and said my mother came into my room when I told her not to and I was upset, it was my issue. Honestly, any complaint I came to him re my mother i can see his point. But it was everything. Still today. He thinks I’m crazy when i share my views and I’m too sensitive and it’s not him. I logically know from all I’ve read that were he to respect me as a person he would see that just because something doesn’t bother him it could bother me. My fathers message now? No. I do accept it but shouldn’t. Because his message is that everything i inherently know isn’t okay is really okay and is just me being sensitive.
My mother’s message as you say isn’t selfishness. It’s that she doesn’t have enough of an identity of her own. So her children are an extension of her. So anything they do or not is about her. Why is God punishing her that her kids aren’t married. She tells me so often she wants me to be married with kids even though I’ve told her enough times it’s not okay. She can’t see others. And she can’t handle emotions. So she dismisses and ignores. Like telling my sister she’s not hungry because supper wasn’t ready.
I always love your thoughts. Was actually thinking of you earlier, was wondering if you got your purim wish.
Thank you, I forgot what my Purim wish was.
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I am so humbled that you shared these last two posts with all of us. Thank you for your trust.
I have a lot of crap clogging up my mind from my childhood and my parents’ respective roles and attitudes… it feel almost insurmountable to write it all out as you have.
One of the things that I deeply relate to in what you write is that your parents both love you. My mother does and my father did (he’s dead now) love me, and I actually feel that a lot of our problems stemmed from love itself.
Another thing that I really relate to in what you write is how your Mom perceived you as extensions of herself. I think both of my parents, and especially my Mom, did that also, and it still arouses deep resentment in me – it’s such a horrible perspective.
I feel like if I keep on writing, it’ll just turn into a long, repetitive rant – it’s something that I haven’t entirely organized in my own mind… but it’s so complicated because everything that angers me was based on good intentions and genuine lack of awareness, which blaming a parent for isn’t helpful.
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Although for you it might not change the past, it might change the present of someone else.
So when you feel guilty for being alive, count me in.
Writing about it can make others feel less alone and also less guilty maybe or understand themselves and others better.
The facade is a big thing for many and it is a horrible thing when you can’t be open with others. It wouldn’t matter what it is, I would be able to understand it and if not, I would be open to try to understand it. I also wrote a lot of things about my parents. Without this writing or working through it, I wouldn’t have been able to handle some of it. Because just letting it inside never helped me either. My mother has some problems as most people have some with themselves or others. It is a generational thing in most cases and needs someone to break these sick patterns, like you are doing now. My parents were told to ignore their feelings, their parents also had to and so on. But I just couldn’t at some point because I knew it was wrong, a lot of things were wrong and I could even make my mother feel good sometimes and open up about her feelings without shame.
But my mother and I were talking about things from my childhood on and about all kinds of things which most parents sadly don’t do, it seems. Hopefully it changes now with people like you and me and those who helped us. All these facades, these insecurities, shameful and guilty feelings make us all feel weird and broken and also make it hard to live or find something to live for.
Thank you for doing this! 💜
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My Partner said something once that I think is rough for a lot of us to tackle: multiple things can simultaneously be true. At the time, those two things were “I can be furious at you right now, but also still love you at the same time.” That’s…not a message I ever learned in a lot of ways.
It also seems like a thing that can be true here, too. Your parents could have tried to do there best, and still done harm. I saw a rare Pinterest meme once that I did like that just said, “You will do harm. Now what?” And, that made sense to me. Try as we might, we all do harm. We all say things, and do things, and respond in ways that screw other people up. And, as we try to get better, we hopefully try to learn to hold that dichotomy that, “I didn’t *mean* to cause harm, but I did. And, I’m going to honor that that happened and try to repair for that other person.”
Your parents can have intended well and still done harm. Your parents can love you, but not yet be at a point where they can acknowledge that they are flawed humans. It takes a *lot* of personal work to get to that point. Acknowledging the impact of actions on you doesn’t mean you are disloyal to your family. I think you did a great job of writing that dichotomy, but I also just want to name it directly. You are allowed to be impacted by things that someone else couldn’t necessarily have done otherwise. It doesn’t make you insensitive. And, saying someone ‘did their best,’ also doesn’t mean you have to be completely unaffected by things. Your needs and the fact that *you* are doing your best with the legacy of these things also count.
And, I’d take the bullying comment at face value for your memories. If something rose to the level that others independently validated those experiences, I think it’s fair to assume they were ‘impactful’ in a way worth acknowledging, even if you kind of blocked a lot of that out of your memory. I’ve always gotten the feeling that you have more trauma work to unpack than you’ve fully acknowledged, but never wanted to presume the ‘what’ or ‘where’ or ‘whom’ of it. But, I’ve just always had that feeling. So, I’d trust your gut. (And the fact that sometimes the very fact that our memories *are* so weird and hazy is proof enough. Kids do dissociate.)
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More details, Eliza, than I’ve been accustomed to reading in quite a while, thus it’ll take me a bit to process them all.
Still, first thoughts, perhaps your mother’s reaction to you finding yourself in the same situation she was in once (vis-a-vis the accusation), is one of quiet panic, not indifference. Perhaps she was so shocked that everything was happening again, she froze up as those feelings of helplessness and frustration became all too real again, and after all these years.
That’s not to say your mother’s reaction was desirable, but it is understandable.
We can, and will, talk more about this later, Eliza, but it’s most touching you’d choose to share. Not the first time I’ve made this observation, but that’s something the Eliza I first met a couple years ago probably wouldn’t have done. That’s progress, don’t you think?
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