My Mother and I – Mother and Daughter

I’m having a difficult time facing the truth of what really happens between my mother and I.  I want to pretend I had a normal childhood.  But I didn’t, and normal mothers don’t force their 14 year-old daughters to go out with pedophiles – and then forget about it and refuse, years later, to even listen to what happened, because it hurts too much.  It hurts you?  What about me?

Everything winds back to my relationship with my mother, my experience of her, how impossible it is for me to get my needs met with her, and how much I keep trying, butting my head against that brick wall.  The person holding me back is me.  I don’t want to admit to the truth of her.

I’m torn between knowing that she’s subject to the same responsibilities as everybody else, and fearing that she was so wounded as a kid that normalcy wasn’t even on the cards for her.  My expectations of her seem cruel and unfair in the light of that possibility.  But where does it leave me?

I’m fighting a war I can’t win.  How can I accept the way she is, when my experience of that way is exploitation of my vulnerability?  How can I make my peace with it in the face of what still feels like abuse to me?

I’ve spent my life saying “she doesn’t mean to hurt me” but it doesn’t change anything.  Intentions don’t hurt us, actions do.  Can she become aware of what she’s doing and thus be accountable?  I don’t know.  I have to stop hoping for it.

The past is still alive between us, not because of her, but because I’m still vulnerable.  How can I be in a real relationship with her, how can I have conversations with her – in which she steals all the strokes, where she’s always the talker and I’m always the listener – without it hurting?

I’ll never be able to breach that solid fortress which is her refusal to acknowledge that she’ll sacrifice me rather than face her truth.  It would be easy if I hated her but I don’t.  I still love her – is it love, or is it a raw, very small child’s need for love?  Every time I pick up that phone, no matter how well I prepare myself, no matter how well I try to keep myself behind safe boundaries, she always gets to me.

Every time she turns up the vulnerable volume I’m crushed.  I want to say “it doesn’t matter that you hurt me, so long as you’re okay.  I know you don’t mean it.  Please don’t hurt, Mom.”  I’m the sacrificial lamb and I get slaughtered every time.

How do I stop wanting her to meet my needs in a clear and unconflicted way,  one that doesn’t include making me pay emotionally?  How do I stop wanting her to just tell the truth?  There’s a little, innocent girl alive in me, watching her.  Hoping. Maybe this time it’ll be different.  Maybe this time it will have changed forever.

I wish I could stop loving her but I can’t.  I wish love was simple, but it isn’t.  I can’t change her, and I even recognize that she has the right to be who she is.  My challenge lies with me, not with her.  Not to understand her better and not to prove her sane or crazy, because I can’t, but to look elsewhere for my needs.

So I don’t depend on her.  So she can’t hurt me.  I have to learn to strengthen my own boundaries.  Or else walk away.  But how do I close the door on my mother?


4 thoughts on “My Mother and I – Mother and Daughter

  1. We can’t control or change others but we can change how they affect us. Easier said than done. It’s so hard to close that door when all you want is her to love you but I guess for your own health and well-being that’s what might be best for you in the long run. Maybe doing that would cause her to reflect and make changes? I can usually relate to your feelings but in this case I can’t even imagaine Jennifer. You are a very strong woman.

      • Jennifer, this is HEAVY stuff my friend, but I can assure you , like the Bible says God never allows us to be burdened beyond that which we can bear, AND He always supplies a way out. MOTHERS sometimes!!! I have ONE too. I walked away, simple as that. I love her but I couldn’t allow the relentless corrosion of my spirit and mind to carry on anymore. So I simply switched off and moved on. If I can do it so can you. You cry yourself to sleep for some time thinking about what devillish people they are and how innocent you were, but the other thing that’s also happening, blessed be God, is that you are “crying them out of your system”(my own definition). You mourn them Jennifer, then you “bury” them and move on. Otherwise they become your God! You think about them all the time, you want them to be proud of you, etc. How sick is that I ask you. These are people who you know will not bat an eye-lid at killing you (literally and metaphorically). And can I tell you they are the most selfish beings on this earth. At the end of the day it’s all about them! So my dear, don’t let yourself be controlled remotely. and it’s all up to you! no one else unfortunately. I shook the fetters of nearly twelve years ago now. I’ve never looked back, and it’s been exhilarating, to say the least. I NEVER think about her. This is especially true in times of sorrow and trouble for me, because I know she would throw a party to celebrate my misfortunes. I forgave her completely, because I’m not lugging her around in my life, she’s not worth it. Would I help her if ever the need arose? I wouldn’t even think twice. I would be there. Because I am not her. I am me. And she is not God. She is a bitter, angry, unfulfilled 66 year-old whom I will leave to sort her own mess out by herself. I ain’t gonna be part of it, and I won’t feel guilty either. Just sorry for her for missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime chance of knowing an amazingly extra-ordinary being such as ME. Come join the walk-out Jennifer. Free yourself. Love her, by all means, but choose life for yourself. Jesus was the only sacrificial Lamb we all ever needed. That’s just the way it is. Take care now!
        P.S. By the way, you’re one of the bravest people I know, talking about this so publicly! WOW! I talked about it alright, but it was all to myself. I would shut myslf up in my house and talk about it out loud: to myself. Then one day God moved me to write a letter to her telling her how much I loved her(meant it too), and that vwas the end of her hold over my life. Of course she never replied, but I expected that, and I hadn’t written her in anticipation of a reply anyway. I didn’t know it then, but it was the snipping of the umbilical cord. Great day it was too. Phew!

      • Nice to see you here Sophia! Well done for freeing yourself. It’s been a while since I wrote those blogs about my relationship with my mother. I edited them the other day and I felt somehow wrong, disloyal, because it really is my stuff, not hers, and because I do love her, and the thought of her being hurt is just terrible. Everything I’ve written is really my perspective, and not necessarily the absolute truth about her.

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