My 13 year-old daughter is really in to writing just like her Mama. Last night we did a fun activity together where we each wrote in each other’s journal 4-6 writing prompts, and the idea was to really think about each one and then write a well thought out response. One of the prompts she wrote for me completely took me by surprise and I’ve been thinking about it and working on it ever since:
If you could magically fix the relationship you have with someone else, who would it be?
My initial reaction was to choose my brother; he and I haven’t had a relationship since 2010 but have always been extraordinarily close and shared a relationship like two best friends. The reason behind it is extremely complicated and private, but something awful happened that tested the bond between my brother and me, and unfortunately my brother chose to let the something awful that happened prevail, and he made the decision to bury the truth deep in his heart and basically to pretend I’m dead. He claims his “life is going just fine” without me in it, those were his exact words. I realized I no longer have any desire to have him in my life when he so selfishly pushed me out of his.
My mother and I have developed a very toxic relationship and last November I decided I was done letting her hurt me. There is a great deal of verbal abuse between us and all we do is hurt each other. I admit, I hurt her too; I’m married to a man who says what’s on his mind and I have definitely gotten that from him and I don’t sit back and let her mistreat me. We used to be extremely close, and I’m not honestly sure what it was that happened first, but in the last seven years since my husband and I brought our family back to California after living in Spanish Fort, Alabama for two years, things have gotten progressively worse between us. It just dawned on me as I was just typing that last part–coming back to California after being away for all that time must have somehow changed my relationship with her, because now that I think about it, it was around 2006 that we began having a very strained relationship. We were very close while I was in Alabama–we had the ideal mother-daughter relationship, and that is all I have ever wanted with my Mom. I liked not having to deal with the every day problems that come up when you live a mile away from your parents. She and I could just focus on each other and enjoy the time we spent together when she came out to visit twice a year. Those were the days…
If I was somehow able to fix my Mom’s and my relationship, there is one thing that would need to happen before I would even consider working on it: she would have to come clean 100% to my Dad about EVERYTHING that happened between us one night after being out drinking (lightly for me but extremely heavy for her) during a business trip to Ohio in 2007 for the restaurant franchise my family was getting ready to open–which ended with us getting into the most horrible knock-down, drag-out fight you could imagine, where both of us hit the other.
Even worse than the hitting, though, was how my Mom talked to me after we got in the car to drive back to our hotel room; the hateful, mean things she screamed in my ear as we were driving that night will forever be burned in my soul…things a woman does not say, to anyone–let alone to her only daughter. That was without a doubt what caused the entire sequence of events that occurred the remainder of the night. I hit her only because she was up out of her seat yelling right into my ear and I remained calm for quite a while before I did anything, and I most certainly did ask her to stop yelling and then, when she proceeded to hit me on the face, I asked her to stop and told her “I’m driving!” But she kept on and kept on so I smacked her. She got an evil, sly grin on her face and started repeating the things she had already said except she wasn’t yelling. I asked her to please stop again, but she was enjoying how she was making me so angry…it was so obvious, it was a game to her. Im not sure why she lied to my Dad about what happened, unless it really made her feel ashamed of herself and she couldn’t face what she had done. But my biggest question to her is this: don’t you realize how much your lie is hurting not only me but also your husband? Doesn’t she think the hurt from him finding out she lied is lessened by the fact that he would have his daughter back in his life? In my opinion after all these years telling the lie to all of our family, to my brother and his spouse, to her friends…I feel she believes her lie as the truth. But if I were to call her on it there’s no possible way she could say she doesn’t remember the truth. She swears up and down that I was trying to get rid of her so I beat her up and concocted a lie about her so my Dad would blame me for what happened and it would destroy my relationship with him. I tried one time last year to have a heart-to-heart with my Dad and tell him honestly about my Mom lying to him (as well as tell him how awful she sometimes is to me when he isn’t around) and I gave an example of a similar incident from over ten years ago in which she said something awful to me…something so awful that it would be hard for most people to believe a woman could say it to her daughter, and it was overheard by my Dad’s younger brother Tim (she didnt ever know he had heard it) but unfortunately his brother died of cancer since then and can’t vouch for me.
Aside from the lie, though, there is plenty more wrong with our relationship. She treats me awful. Have you ever worked with someone who just didn’t like you? The person looks at you with so much hatred and annoyance that you just know she wants you to get fired. That’s how my Mom looks at me a lot of the time. She also gets an attitude with me all the time and goes from being perfectly fine to all of a sudden looking like she wants to attack me. I’ll ask her what’s wrong and she always says she’s fine but I am very intuitive and I wasn’t born last Tuesday! I have a degree in Psychology and I learned all about body language–I know when something is wrong with my own mother! When she does that it makes me very uncomfortable and I don’t understand why it has to be like that. I have had our relationship woes on my mine constantly for the last five years and I can’t take it anymore. One of two things needs to happen and one is highly unlikely so the other is the only choice; in order to preserve my sanity and take a load the size of Europe off my heart, moving on and letting go of my parents was all that made sense to me. I have asked myself again and again over the years “what did I do to deserve this? What did I do to make her hate me so much that she doesn’t even want my Dad to have a good relationship with me? Usually I get very worked up after a while and lose it start bawling my eyes out and want to start throwing things and kicking and screaming…then I get it out, calm myself down, dust myself off and go back to life. But why should I have to live my life without parents? It’s all just so fucking unfair! My Mom invited my three children to come celebrate her birthday with them on Sunday and it kills me that they’re fine without me in their life just like my selfish prick brother is completely content without me.
I’m on a permanent mission for a skilled hypnotherapist to help me erase the memory of my family from my mind. I don’t ever want to think of them again if they aren’t going to be in my life ever again. Is my thinking wrong?