I’m not sure what I am thinking or feeling right now. I am hoping that just sitting down to write will help me tap into my unconscious and help me to figure it out.
As per my post last night, written in a hurried and frenzied state, my mother finally broke the silence and sent me a message. She sent it at twenty to eleven on a Friday night which would mean she would have been drinking for several hours by that point. I know this because my mother spends EVERY Friday and Saturday night drinking. Before I wised up, I used to go there every Friday and drink with her as she verbally tore me apart or told me what to do about my latest life drama. I was totally enmeshed and felt I needed her for my very survival. Probably still stuck in the child feelings I guess? I wasn’t being my true self, I wasn’t being ME, I was using a fake persona, I had tried to be more like her. I didn’t realise at the time that is what I was doing, but hey, hindsight and all.
I read her message by accident. I was already talking on WhatsApp to someone else when her message came through and I clicked on it without even realising until I read the words and then my heart fell. I panicked. I freaked out big time. I burst into tears, my head hurt, I felt a surge of sadness, anger and guilt all at once and felt like my head could explode. I’m not even exaggerating. The tears oddly stopped rather quickly and I felt numb. I tried to work out how I was feeling and numb was all I could tap into.
The thoughts and observations that ran through my mind were things like – She said she loves me! She said she misses me! Then, still no accountability or apology… She’s probably drunk and playing the victim crying to her enabling husband… If I don’t reply now she’s seen I’ve read it, I’ll look bad and give her more to play on. Eugh. Why now? I don’t want to deal with this.
Something else I couldn’t help but think about was that I finally made the decision to spend Xmas Day with my fiancé’s parents – a decision I’ve written about recently that I’ve been putting off and off for the entire 6 weeks me and my mother didn’t speak. I had to fight a lot of guilt and fear to get to that stage and the very day I make the choice, she texts. Total coincidence I know, but feels like she has a camera on me or something. That isn’t the first time I’ve said, felt or written that either. It’s scary. It’s like they can sense when we move a bit further away or something and they know when their contact will make the most significant impact.
I put my phone on the floor, on some clothes so it didn’t vibrate and wake me up should she text again and fell asleep. I had a dream and I can only remember the main thing in it was a rat. I seem to remember I was sat on a bench with my youngest stepson and I could hear a noise but couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. I looked down and there was a rat nibbling away at something and I freaked out!! Later in the dream I was somewhere else and paranoid and looking out for possible rats. I am a big believer in hidden messages in dreams, I do think if you pay attention to them, you can see what your less conscious thoughts are, so I looked up the meaning of dreaming about rats and the general consensus is about a person’s character being sneaky or betraying you somehow.
The first thing to think about is whether you or someone you know is behaving unethically in a situation in your life,” suggests O’Connor. “You often hear the expression that someone is a ‘rat,’ meaning he is untrustworthy or has betrayed someone.
What do rats represent to me? Well, I am scared of them – just like my mother.
I was paranoid there would be rats around me – Possibly a symbol of my fear of seeing my mother around.
I wasn’t aware of the rat being there until I heard it and spotted it – a bit like how I felt last night when that text came through totally unexpectedly.
Anyway, moving on from my dream. How do I feel about it today? I genuinely don’t know. I haven’t had much time to think about it all as the kids are here but I feel better than I thought I would. I feel better than I think I would have done a few weeks ago. The instant reaction was that I was triggered instantly into wanting to believe her words. Her saying she loved and missed me being things I’ve spent forever wanting to hear, feel and believe. The other instant trigger was guilt. Guilt that she was upset, guilt that she would know I had read her message and ignored it… guilt knowing that would upset her further.
Then more rational thinking kicked in where I was annoyed that the message only spoke about her. “I” miss you and “I” love you. I wished there had been some accountability and an apology but I do know logically that is never going to happen. I guess there is still a part of me that can’t quite let that go.
There was a bit of anger that this is what she does. No matter how big the row, or how severe the topic, it is always swept under the rug and never dealt with. Okay, so the love you, miss you thing is a new tactic, but it doesn’t deal with the reason we aren’t speaking does it. It doesn’t offer some kind of resolution or attempt at apologising… it feels to me like it’s undertone is “Just so you know, it is you that is creating the silence and distance, I am still here for you and still love and miss you”…… I don’t know if she realises that or whether it is unconscious but that is how it feels. It’s clever because I did instantly think to myself “So she wasn’t not talking to me…. it was just me not speaking to her was it?” but I know that isn’t true.
I’ve questioned why has it taken 6 weeks for her to send that? I have believed for a while now that she didn’t think I would be able to stick to it for long and that I would “come running back”. Maybe she thought it would be eating me alive not speaking to her and I would either apologise or try to sweep it all under the rug like she does – and I’ve done neither thing. Perhaps it is in attempt at resolving things (ignoring things) as Xmas is closing in on us.
I guess that for her she doesn’t think she has done anything wrong, doesn’t think she needs to apologise for anything and so saying she loves and misses me is all she can do. Perhaps it helps her to sleep at night thinking that it is ME that is choosing to ignore and hurt her. Choosing to reject her love. I am being the bad, grudge-baring daughter who has been brainwashed my her fiancé and her therapist.. who has “so much bad feeling” towards her for no reason that there is nothing more she can do other than to send the occasional message of love so that I know she’s still there for me, when I’ve stopped this ridiculousness and woken up to the reality that she is in fact, perfect and a great mother.
I’ll admit that there is a bit of me today that is thinking, if I ignore this message, that will really upset her, yes, but it will shock her. I’ve NEVER been able to ignore a sign of love or affection from her. If I shock her enough, perhaps it will force her to look at herself harder or make her realise that I really am going to need an apology and that I really am not going to come running back apologising. I hate myself for thinking like that because I know that narcissists cannot empathise and that they are unable to be accountable or genuinely apologise. I mean, surely a normal mother would be able to look back and say, I should have done better, I have regrets and I am willing to do whatever I need to in order to make it up to my child? Or is that me living in a fantasy land? I never really know.
Imagining ignoring a message of love from my mother would have sent me spiralling a while ago. There is definite improvement in that I don’t feel full of fear today…. but I am not entirely comfortable with the fact I haven’t replied.
So, what happens next?
What do I want to do about it? As a few people said last night, I need to take my time with this and let things percolate a bit. I know that. My fiancé told me to do whatever I really want to do. He said “I know it isn’t as simple as this, but if you want to text her, then text her and if you don’t? then don’t!”. He then asked me outright, do you want to? and I said no. So for now, not responding is my choice of action. Who knows how I might feel in hours, days or weeks.
I’ve written it a million times already, but the only way I see the possibility of having a relationship with her is her admitting she fucked up and her apologising genuinely. Being truly remorseful. So without that, there really isn’t any relationship left. Her not taking accountability or apologising and validating my lifetime of grief, pain and rejection leaves me stuck in anger with her. Anger that I can sometimes hide and sometimes attack her with. It wouldn’t be an enjoyable or healthy relationship for either one of us.
This happened 3 years ago. It happened again 6 weeks ago. Next time I fear it would happen much, much quicker, days or weeks perhaps. I am much less able to tolerate it than I was then. I’ve done a lot more healing than I had then. I was stuck in a deeper level of fear then. Saying that, visualising being sat at her house with her and her twat of a husband makes me feel sick – so there’s a long way to go.
The thing I find confusing and surprising is that normally a resolution would fill me with joy and hope and I don’t feel either of those things with her. It sounds utterly selfish but if I got that validation, acceptance and apology, it wouldn’t make me happy that I could now rebuild a relationship with her, it would be for the child inside me. It feels like it would enable my healing process to speed up – I know that isn’t necessarily true – but since when were feelings ever logical hey?
If you’ve made it this far without wanting to shout and scream at me “You stupid girl! She will never do thatttttt!!” then I take my metaphorical hat off to you because I am sure I would have lost patience by now. Thank you for reading and supporting me through this, it’s a relief to be able to write here and not be judged.