Ah so, hubby came home and noticed almost instantly that I was feeling down. I kept leaking tears accidentally which was annoying ha. He asked me why I was sad and I denied that I was. He asked again a while later and I said I wasn’t sad but my face clearly wasn’t convincing.
I told him that I didn’t really know why I was sad and he said that was okay, that I didn’t need a reason right now and that sometimes it takes a while for the thoughts to catch up with the emotions. (He’s clearly been paying attention to the things I’ve told him T has said – LOL!).
Anyway, to make a very long 2 hour long conversation short, we spoke about today’s therapy session and I told him what T had said about how she didn’t believe I had quite got it yet and that she didn’t believe I completely understood how abusive my mother was yet. I said it made me feel a bit shit because I think I do. Or at least I did and that I felt confused because now I was wondering exactly what I was missing or what she was seeing that I wasn’t.
We spoke through this a lot. My husband said he kind of agreed with T and gently explained his reason for this which was that I still tolerated her behaviour by being there – by going – giving her my company. He said that I might not like the things she says or does but by being there, I was allowing her to carry on in my presence. I compared this to an ex-friend of mine who was actually really mean and nasty to everyone, me included, and how I put up with that for years and years. He said it was the same and that eventually I couldn’t bare that anymore and I ended our friendship. I agreed but said the difference was that she was blatantly abusive to my face about me and that my mother wasn’t on Friday.
Hubby explained to me that he thought T meant that eventually I will find my mother’s behaviour so intolerable that I won’t be able to sit and watch her. He gave some examples and said that for example, the Remembrance Day stuff she came out with, he said “imagine anyone else said that, you would never want to go out with them again, would you?”. He also gave an example of how my ex friend was rude to him (rude isn’t the right word actually, she was abusive) and how he refused to ever come along again because he didn’t want to be around her.
I started to understand what he was saying and what T might have meant.
I explained to him what I’ve written about here recently that now when I see her I genuinely feel sorry for her and see her life as sad and pathetic and that I feel sorry for her (not in an angry way). I told him that I felt sad that she won’t change and that I feel I’ve overtaken her in emotional maturity. I said I no longer feel the anger towards her that I used to.
My husband said that he genuinely believes that when I do see her as being as intolerable as him and T think I will, that I won’t be able to have contact with her at all and I won’t care about the guilt by that point. I said that T also believes I won’t be able to tolerate her at all.
I said I felt that way after the wedding because the way she acted hurt me so much but that I just couldn’t figure out how to tell her. Hubby said he doesn’t believe that to be true, although he does believe I think/thought that was true.
I pondered that a while.
I said that perhaps the feeling sorry for her thing was easier to experience than the anger or the guilt or the fear. Perhaps I was tricking myself. I remembered T saying sometimes we put our defenses back up for a time and wondered was this what she meant? Was I trying to make it all “better” for myself because some of the pain was so bloody horrible?
I said I don’t see my mother and think of her as an evil, nasty person because I just see the sadness of the situation and I just see how she has no emotional intelligence etc. I said watching your mum act and behave like mine wasn’t easy. It was tough to watch.
Hubby said he thought that what T meant today when she said that she doesn’t like that part of me shuts down so I can sit with my mother for those evenings is that she and he know I wouldn’t tolerate anyone else behaving that way. I said I guess I’m so used to her behaviour being so shocking that it didn’t phase me anymore. I just sat there (half present) and accepted it.
We discussed this quite a while and then I said that I think when T said she didn’t think I had quite “got it” yet, quite understood it yet, that perhaps (unconsciously at the time) I felt angry and felt defensive about what she meant. Hubby said “yes and you do that with mostly everything you perceive to be criticism and you know why that is don’t you?!” And I said “yes, because I had too much criticism growing up”. He agreed and said yes and not being absolutely perfect is petrifying for you and you feel like a failure and you cry and give up. Yep.
I think I felt that pang of anger because I felt like I was failing it being slow or not doing well enough “at therapy” you know, “at healing” or whatever..
I know now that I’ve acknowledged this consciously, that of course T DIDN’T mean that at all. I know that. But I’m interested in how much that unconscious feeling effected me. I cried when I got home and my mood didn’t get better until me and hubby spoke this through many hours later.
I also acknowledged that perhaps knowing and admitting/accepting that there’s a lot more work to do with regards to my mother and that perhaps it is actually going to get much tougher and perhaps I will end up having absolutely no contact with her whatsoever is obviously very hard to accept … even though I thought previously I was ready for that, clearly I am not. And I kind of hate to admit that I’m not where I want to be, or I’m not as far along as I want to be or whatever.
I also told hubby (and T earlier) that my mother often told me how she can’t wait for me to become a mother so I can see how awful it is and how hard she had it and how she can’t wait for me to knock at the door or phone her crying begging her to help me because I can’t cope. Both T and hubby were horrified by this and said that is such a nasty thing to say and just not normal.
I said tonight that I can really see now that she just wants me to have to feel the same pain she has felt in her life. I also spoke about why she alienated me from my father for my entire life and why she acted how she did at my wedding as she witnessed how close me and my dad and his family have become, how close I am with my stepchildren and in-laws and how much me and my husband love each other.
I realised there are many examples of this. Not wanting me to have a happy and successful marriage, not wanting me to drive, get a college education, have a good set of friends etc etc… she wants me to live the same life experiences as her, even the bad stuff – ESPECIALLY the bad stuff and that’s bloody awful isn’t it?
I said it must come to jealousy because she can’t tolerate her envy that I might have a better or easier experience than she did.
It’s awful. I can see the sadness of this for her but also, it’s so wrong. So bloody wrong and it’s take me 30 years to realise this.
Anyway I have loads to process tonight when I sleep but I feel better now even just acknowledging why I felt how I did.