painful reality check about my emotionally abusive mother

So have been having a hard time today and yesterday. As I said a couple of posts ago my mom and I had that talk Saturday. That went decently enough. Her statements about “totally understanding mental illness” after a half hour conversation with Jonathan, and never ever really listening to me and taking in what I’ve had to say about what I go through, and that she’s so much more patient because she was really patient with the dog one day, I I didn’t quite believe but was hopeful that maybe she was a little more mellow

Well the reality of her true nature, never far below the surface hit hard last night. I forget if I told you guys but I got a new computer yay! I’ll make a video showing it for you all. I wouldn’t have gotten one but I’m really tired of the piece of plastic missing in the power cord area which makes the cord fall out every two minutes, plus a battery that won’t hold a charge plus speakers that half work with the headphones out. So my mom and Robbie worked really hard to pick out a computer. Whicfh Robbie told me was quite an adventure due to how frustrated my mom gets as you’ll see.

So I ggot the computer Monday or Tuesday I think. Wrote her write away. She said merry Christmas happy birthday meaning it was for both which I totally understand and was fine with. We wrote back and forth about her work issues and such. So I was very taken aback when she left me a pretty upset sounding mesae saying she hadn’t heard from me since I got the computer and was “worried.” Her voice trust me was not mellow. Not raised but tight no hint of caring or anything besides the message that “I am not happy and you’re gonna hear about it!” That tense distant cold voice is what drives our families moves around her and has for years. It’s the voice that causes so much anxiety that when I’m around it I want to shrink til I’m so small I just float away. I don’t want to make a sound in order to not have her snap completely. My dad avoids it as does my sister, sometimes even the animals are anxious and run away. Just hearing that voice the core of her power over us brought back so much anxiety. I was already pretty anxious thinking about the Saturday conversation my mixed feelings about a visit, some small hope that maybe really my mom might come through and be genuinely supportive. That thought is enough to set off every memory and feeling about the million times I’ve felt this way in the past. And then this. Sighing not really prepared for what will happen I call.

Cold tight and distant again. She talked about not hearing from me since I got the computer which isn’t true. Then she said she’d put some money in my bank account which I was really surprised at. I often ask for money and we usually talk about when she’ll put it in and I’m always grateful for whatever she gives me as I know my parent’s always have crazy financial issues I’ll never quite understand. But she seemed genuinely mad (not worried) that I hadn’t called to thank her about this. She didn’t tell me she’d done it. I don’t need to check my bank account every day. I just don’t have to. Once rent is paid and I know that check has cleared, and know what I have for the month I really don’t have to do much else. Jess and I have let things slip a bit with the money situation mostly overspending on snacks which are actually essential for me as the food is so bad here (they don’t even know how to prepare fruit right) that if I don’t have something I’ll get weak. But anyway now we’re to a very tight budget as my mom was starting to get upset about that as well.

So as I said I hadn’t checked the account. A Again she was pissed I hadn’t said thank you. Apparently she put it in on Monday the same day we had wrote back and forth about the computer. Why not tell me then. Why not just call me? Hesitantly I asked if she was ok. Which h was kind of a mistake. She didn’t blow up but I got the running in circles game.

When my mom would drink she’d repeat herself constantly and obviously wasn’t in a ggood state of mind. I thought this was a result of the alcohol. Since she hasn’t been drinking I’ve realized this is just her. She will go in circles and circles literally repeating the same thing word for word for as long as she has a captive audience. One thing about the days of the huge arguments which was kind of funny was my Dad always saying,”Ok OK. You’ve said that a million times! There’s nothing I can do about it!.” He’d say things like that. He never fought back, or called her out on her shit. Which I wish he’d done.

So to save everyone from pulling their hair out and never reading my blog I’ll only give the summary once.

Are you ok?

Oh I’m sorry I’m just exhausted! And boy did I hear why. She stayed up buying people presents online til two in the morning. My dad’s been working til nine at night, always a huge resentment for her! There was some issue with her toll pass or something. She doesn’t get home til six at night. The dog is sick with algeries so he needs medicine. The cats were wanting attention so she played with them for forty five minutes at midnight one day. She “gets lost with e-mail.” Meaning doing e-mail and computer related stuff overwhelms her as Robbie can testify to. I think that was the whole list of complaints. Just repeated over and over and over again for literally a half hour forty five minutes.

Not only is this extremely annoying and wqould probably wear down the most patient person, but it’s also not fair and a huge issue of hers she uses to hurt people. I don’t know the exact term passive aggressive I think. It’s like no one is making her do half this stuff. No one asked her to be up til two in the morning buying presents. We know she has a lot going on and would understand if she didn’t you know go to the extreme with Santa stuff. Like I said my Dad working is a huge thing that always comes up. Either he’s working too much or working not enough, or working at the school he works at for too long, or at this other side job too long ETC. He can’t win. No one can when she gets like that. In spite of the cat’s nonverbal ccues she certainly didn’t have to play with til at midnight. But this is what she does. She gets all wound up and every single thing she does during the day is asked to do, or thinks she has to do gets blown up to enormous proportions. Often this would happen a lot in the summer with simply driving me down the street to Concord to pick up paratransit. In spite of me treading extremely lightly around her schedule moods ETC it would often turn into arguments about why my Dad didn’t drive me more. Apparently as I’ve met more blind friends I’ve discovered this is a common struggle, in spite of what they say accomidating their disabled child really is a burden to them. The point is she takes out every single issue on the closest person or people around, often talking out loud to no one or just talking out loud while you’re sitting there. This gave me huge anxiety when I was home because her frustration and endless complaints felt so huge as to take up the entire house and I felt like by simply being in the same house as her I was adding to the pile. Of course she never noticed this.

Saying “sorry” and then launching into why basically it was ok for her to snap at me and take things out on me really doesn’t count as an apology. So I dealt with it for however long I was on the phone. I didn’t talk much so she never heard the tears in my voice. But I felt my face crumple as it always does in these situation, I’m lost in the whirwind of her needs and demands and the weight of how her life is so hard.

I got off the phone feeling ten times worse. What was I thinking even for a moment thinking Jess and I could somehow make a life even temporarily in my parent’s yet to be bought new house? That person, selfish and childlike having a tantrum and blaming the world, that’s the core of the bad side of my mom. Probably exactly what she had to deal with from her own parents except I know for a fact she had an extremely violent alcoholic father. Who stopped drinking but is every inch as much an alcoholic minus getting drunk and still with the temper to match.

It hit so hard. Made the prospect of even a few day’s visit that I was finding some comfort in seeing my mom’s more relaxed appearance seem extremely overwhelming if not impossible.

Today I think it just caught up with me. I’ve been having upset stomach more and more lately. I swear half of it is the terrible food. But I think it’s stress too. Since my mom used “that voice” a couple weeks back when I asked for more money, I’ve been so careful and stressed about that. And now this. I had a lot of emotions before last night. Then last night everything whent in a whole new direction of anxiety and overwhelming memories.

After lunch I had a really upset stomach and was quite anxious. In no shape to have a therapy session no desire to talk. So I didn’t. I canceled. I think it’s three sessions I’ve canceled now due to some kind of cold or other. I really want to just withdraw and sleep.

All this is too much. It’s one more slap in the face for me. No one can give me any comfort or answers that will make me feel better at all. Except to just be there like Jess and my stuffed animals are. It’s such a rollercoaster. Thinking there’s an opening for real authentic communication and a relationship grounded on true acceptance of your own child. And then you see it again all the ways she can’t be honest with herself. I read in some book or maybe it was a friend who is in recovery that said the one definitive behavior where you can spot a possible alcoholic a mile off is someone who can’t be honest with themselves.

Edith and I were talking about the part of the conversation over the weekend when I told her about being suicidal and said how I knew she could relate. And she said lightly that she’d said those things but would never do it she was mad. I know part of it was attention seeking but I could sense something real about those times, she was clearly in a dark place. Edith said it was a part of her personality she wasn’t able to face. If she can’t face it in herself how can she face it in me?

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One thought on “painful reality check about my emotionally abusive mother

  1. this is so painful sam. i’m sorry all that happened. it must feel so disheartening. the thing is your mom isnt being authentic or real. and maybe she cant. who knows. doesnt make it any easier for you though. sending hugs. xx

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