My mother phoned to wish me happy birthday, a day early. The last time I talked to her I came away raw and depleted, with my view of life, myself and my prospects all twisted again. Everything seemed hopeless.
Couldn’t write, sing, play the piano. I just had this deadness inside me, this what’s the use? I moved a ton of anger, but it’s not really anger. It’s primal sore. I dreaded her calling me to wish me happy birthday. Please forget this year. I can’t take any more hurt.
I know there isn’t room in her awareness for herself and me. There’s no consciousness of what she did to me, or of what she continues to do, of what she gets from me emotionally, what she takes as a matter of course, without asking, without thanking – without noticing. It’s as if I don’t exist. All that exists is her and her problems, her philosophy, her life. Why can’t she see me?
Why can’t I speak out? It’s not what she can say to me, it’s that I’m still terrified that if I challenge her she’ll have another nervous breakdown. I still feel responsible for the first one. Not in my head, not in my logic, but in some less accessible regions of my being.
I’ve tried many times to tell her what happens to me in our relationship, and every time she goes into denial, then into “there’s something terribly wrong with you”. She’s never going to let me be as important as she is, and she’s never going to acknowledge that that’s what she does. Because she isn’t doing it maliciously or consciously. Because her own needs are just too overpowering for her.
She’s never going to remember me, not even when I’m talking to her. Not even when I’m standing right in front of her.
I don’t want to let her in any more. I don’t ever want to be hurt by her unconsciousness or unwillingness, I don’t know which it is. Probably both. I don’t want to argue and debate who’s right and who’s wrong. I don’t want to hurt her. But I need to stop being hurt myself.
I want to quietly walk away. She’s dominated my life something awful. It’s enough now. I want my own life. I can see how I make her number one in my own consciousness. I know why I do it – I know all of that stuff.
I don’t care about the why any more. I just need it to stop. I need to be number one with me. I have to make my needs more important to me than hers. Whether consciously or not she makes it a competition between us and she always wins in my experience. Probably in hers she’s the loser.
It’s not a competition either of us can win. It’s not one I need to win, either. I need to withdraw my entry to it.